Mobile phone pioneer Ericsson sues Apple in a big way for Patent Infringement.
Ericsson announced today that they have filed two complaints with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple asserting 41 patents covering many aspects of Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
Apple had a global license agreement with Ericsson that has expired last month, and Apple has declined to take a new license offered on FRAND terms.
Ericsson says in the announcement that the company made several attempts to find a fair solution, including an offer for both parties to be bound by a decision on fair licensing terms by a United States federal court.
The patents include standard essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system. Ericsson seeks exclusion orders in the ITC proceedings and damages and injunctions in the District Court actions.
Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson, said: “Apple’s products benefit from the technology invented and patented by Ericsson’s engineers. Features that consumers now take for granted – like being able to live stream television shows or access their favorite apps from their phone – rely on the technology we have developed. We are committed to sharing our innovations and have acted in good faith to find a fair solution. Apple currently uses our technology without a license and therefore we are seeking help from the court and the ITC.”
Ericsson has a very strong patent portfolio that comprises 35,000 granted patents. To date, Ericsson has signed more than 100 patent-licensing agreements with most of the major players in the industry. Ericsson was founded in 1876 and despite its demise as a consumer brand (remember Sony Ericsson) its one of the big mobile infrastructure players. Today 115,000 employees work for Ericsson in 180 countries generating $33.1 billion in net sales last year.
Apple was ordered earlier this week to pay over $500 million for infringing patents of a small Texas firm called SmartFlash.
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