Ericsson Sues Apple Over Patent Infringement

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Ericsson holds thousands of patents related to wireless technology, and the majority of other technology companies have licensing agreements with the Swedish company. Now Ericsson says it is suing Apple for illegally using technology in its mobile devices without agreement, write Dominic Chopping and Juhana Rossi for the Wall Street Journal.

Apple not willing to negotiate?

According to Ericsson, Apple has refused to sign a licensing deal or allow a court to determine fair licensing terms.

“Our last offer was to have this determination either in [a federal court in] Texas or in a court selected by Apple in California. They declined,” stated Gustav Brismark, head of patent strategy at Ericsson.

Under the terms of a licensing agreement signed in 2008, Apple paid royalties to Ericsson to use their patented technology. That agreement expired in January.

Brismark claims that Ericsson is only looking to strike a similar deal this time around. “We’re seeking a fair resolution. We believe that the royalties that we’re demanding are reflected in the value that our technology brings to these products,” Mr. Brismark said.

Ericsson maintain that Apple have refused to negotiate, so the company has filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Ongoing legal battle

Back in January the companies announced they were suing each other over royalties for patents concerning high-speed wireless technology. Ericsson was angered by Apple’s claims that the patents were not “essential” to the functioning of the LTE wireless communication standard.

For its part Apple claims that Ericsson is asking for “excessive” royalties. “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,” read a statement from Apple.

The latest lawsuit concerns patents connected to 2Q and 4G long-term evolution standards. Ericsson aims to gain an exclusion order on Apple products, and is also filing for damages and injunctions.

“By refusing Ericsson’s fair and reasonable licensing offer for patented technology used in Apple smartphones and tablets, Apple harms the entire market and reduces the incentive to share innovation,” read a company statement.

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