Apple Inc. Sues Ericsson Over LTE-Related Patents

Apple recently filed a lawsuit against Ericsson, alleging the company’s patents were not up to industry cellular standards. As a result, the iPhone maker is demanding significant royalties for the patent in question.

A new battle over patents

Apple also claimed that the telecom equipment maker is searching for royalties for LTE technology calculated as a percentage of the price for a total tablet or smartphone. Furthermore, royalties should all be based on the value of the processor chip that includes the technology. Should the courts deem Ericsson’s patents essential and decide that Apple infringed on the patents, the Cupertino-based tech giant wants the courts to come up with a reasonable rate.

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Kristen Huguet, a representative for Apple, explained, “We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to standards essential patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents so, as a last resort, we are asking the courts for help.”

Ericsson defends itself from Apple

Ericsson responded to the matter by filing a claim through the United States District Court for Eastern Texas as a way to determine whether it made a fair and non-discriminatory licensing agreement with Apple. The chief intellectual property officer for Ericsson, Kasim Alfalahi, added, “Every Apple smartphone or tablet that has cellular connectivity needs our technology.”

Alfalahi also told The Wall Street Journal that his company is now looking to the courts for assistance as Apple rejected their licensing offers. Both companies currently have a licensing agreement that covers Ericsson’s purported standard patents. The agreement was initially signed in 2008 after Apple’s launch of the original iPhone. Many of the patents within the licensing agreement are in dispute. The agreement is set to expire soon.

Patent disputes are common, and many tech companies tend to go after rivals over such claims. One of the most notable battles involves Apple and rival Samsung.

Source: WSJ