Apple Faces Ericsson Lawsuit After Refusing Licensing Deal

ipad_iphone_ios_8Apple faces further legal action from Ericsson this week after refusing to accept a licensing deal for its patented LTE technologies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Swedish networking company on Friday said it is suing Apple for infringing 41 wireless-related patents that it believes are critical to the functionality of products such as the iPhone and iPad.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

Ericsson has filed two complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission in an effort to secure an exclusion order against Apple, which could block the iPhone, iPad and other products involved from being sold in the United States. The company has also filed seven complaints with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas as part of the negotiations. Apple's previous licensing deal with Ericsson expired in mid-January.

Apple originally filed suit against Ericsson on January 12, arguing that it was demanding excessive royalties for patents not essential to LTE standards. Ericsson countersued in a Texas courtroom just hours later, seeking an estimated $250 million to $750 million in royalties per year for Apple to continue licensing its patented wireless technologies. Ericsson is the world's largest provider of mobile network equipment and holds over 35,000 patents related to 2G, 3G and 4G wireless technologies.

Apple was ordered to pay Smartflash LLC a $533 million settlement earlier this week in a separate patent lawsuit.

Top Rated Comments

Lennholm Avatar
77 months ago
Calling Ericsson a "patent troll" is hilarious. This is the company that together with Nokia, Motorola etc. invented and built the entire mobile infrastructure that Apple, Samsung and everyone else on the market now relies on.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bushido Avatar
77 months ago
that actually seems reasonable to me in that case.

Ericsson licenced patented technology to Apple so Apple agreed to it in the past
Negotiations broke down over continued licencing
Licence expired
Apple continued to used the tech without permission
Ericsson offered to have a third party determine a fair compensation
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
77 months ago

Yet another sad case of Patent Trolls looking for Apple's money in Tyler, Texas. (I live in Dallas, it's nothing against Tyler. It's just the ambulance-chaser/troll mentality that kills me.)

The thing is, at $250 million a year, an individual Apple C-Level could pay it off and be done with it. I think we're looking more at a "principle of the matter" issue for Apple, and the whole thing is just a big tempest in a teapot.


Believing that this case has anything to do with patent trolls makes be believe that you shouldn't be commenting in this thread.

My .02.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
barkomatic Avatar
77 months ago

Yet another sad case of Patent Trolls looking for Apple's money in Tyler, Texas. (I live in Dallas, it's nothing against Tyler. It's just the ambulance-chaser/troll mentality that kills me.)

The thing is, at $250 million a year, an individual Apple C-Level could pay it off and be done with it. I think we're looking more at a "principle of the matter" issue for Apple, and the whole thing is just a big tempest in a teapot.


Ericsson is a real company with employees that provides real services and products. They do not meet the definition of a patent troll.

If Apple has infringed on their patents then they have to pay royalties. Just because Apple is a big company that makes your favorite hardware and/or you own stock in doesn't justify theft of innovation.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
77 months ago
Okay, so here is a place where patent reform could be had, I think fairly easily.

Apple and Ericsson had a licensing agreement in place that expired. So they both acknowledged that there was a valid patent, and that it was reasonable to license said patent for usage in the devices.

Essentially, this is nothing more than a business negotiation that Ericsson has now taken to litigation. The result is that Apple is now forced to either roll the dice in a jurisdiction that is known to be unfriendly to defendants, or settle with essentially a gun to their head.

Why not create a mediation panel, tied to the USPTO that hears disputes such as this? Each side presents their case, and the panel determines questions of patent validity and value. If either of the parties is unhappy enough with their findings they can appeal the decision through the Federal appeals courts.

At least with this methodology these important decisions can be kept out of the hands of the kangaroo courts in the Eastern Division of Texas.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
77 months ago
Reminds me of the Nokia lawsuit some years back where Apple tried to avoid the licensing deals and lost.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...