Ericsson Extends Patent Lawsuit Against Apple to Europe

ipad_iphone_ios_8Ericsson has filed lawsuits against Apple in Germany, United Kingdom and the Netherlands after failing to reach a global licensing agreement with the company over both standard-essential and non-standardized patents.

Ericsson claims that Apple continues to sell the iPhone, iPad and other products that infringe upon its patented technologies, some related to 2G and 4G LTE standards, even though its licensing agreement expired in January.

Ericsson has been attempting to license its standard-essential patents with Apple on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), but the two companies have failed to reach an agreement following over two years of negotiations. Unable to resolve the situation outside of the courtroom, Ericsson has since filed patent lawsuits against the iPhone maker in the United States, and now Europe, for mediation by the courts.

"Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's technology without having a valid license in place," said Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson. "Our technology is used in many features and functionality of today's communication devices. We are confident the courts in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands will be able to help us resolve this matter in a fair manner."

Ericsson, the world's largest provider of mobile network equipment, originally filed two complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission and seven complaints with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple earlier this year. In late March, the ITC agreed to investigate the patent infringement claims, involving 41 wireless-related patents.

Apple originally filed suit against Ericsson in January, arguing that it was demanding excessive royalties for patents not essential to LTE standards. Ericsson, which holds over 35,000 patents, 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.

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
119 months ago
This lawsuit is gaining multinational support faster than most of Apple's services.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
119 months ago
They have 118,706 employees and do 6 billion in sales in a quarter. Does that sound like a patent troll?
I think you are not understanding the MR community definition of "patent troll." Here it's basically any company or individual with any patent that tries to use it against Apple. The definition can expand or morph to fit the general concept of anyone going against Apple is wrong (and no historical or other hard evidence can be accumulated to modify such opinions). Of course, when it's the other way- when it's Apple flexing their patent portfolio- it's all about "protecting IP" and similar.

From long-term observations, there appears to be 3 kinds of patents:
1. Apple patents are the ONLY bona-fide patents.
2. Patents used against Apple are only owned by patent trolls.
3. Patents that have no effect on Apple are fine unless Apple tries to get into something new against which such patents may lead to claims. Then, see #2.

...and these 2 overwhelming truths(?):
-Patent system is wonderful and "protecting IP" when it's working with Apple's objectives
-Patent system is "broken" and "needs reforms" when it's working against Apple's objectives

When it comes to actual legal actions, in a patent-driven clash where both parties are found to have infringed on the other party's patents,
-the party against Apple should "Die <party name/copycat> Die", while
-the judge is simply wrong about Apple infringing... or what Apple infringed upon should have never been awarded a patent at all.

Did I miss anything?

All ;)
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMacDragon Avatar
119 months ago
Actually, I wasn't joking. If I was joking, I would have said, "A badger, a nun, and a jar of marmalade walked into a bar..."

I think I've heard of Ericsson a long, long, long time ago. But now it just sounds like patent trolls.

They have 118,706 employees and do 6 billion in sales in a quarter. Does that sound like a patent troll?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve121178 Avatar
119 months ago
Sounds fair to me. Apple either license them and pay the appropriate costs or get sued. Simple.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigInDallas Avatar
119 months ago
They have 118,706 employees and do 6 billion in sales in a quarter. Does that sound like a patent troll?

You have to remember that many people here will defend Apple at all costs. Hey its stealing, but since its Apple its OK:rolleyes:
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
119 months ago
"Standards Essential" patents are treated specially. If my patent is incorporated into a standard that everyone must follow to inter operate, I fall under the FRAND clause - meaning I can charge a fair and reasonable fee that is non discriminatory and pretty much the same for every company- so they can all inter operate and participate in the standard. It's a trade off for making your patented technology the standard. So no, Ericcson can not just demand anything they want. Apple is within its legal bounds to argue that they should be charged about what everyone else using the standard is charged.

Nicely put. Except one glaring exception. Ericsson is asking for a FRAND rate for the patents; not more. They've also offered to have the courts decide the rate.

"Ericsson has been attempting to license its standard-essential patents with Apple on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND)"

Apple doesn't want to pay FRAND rates. Apple wants to pay less.

Other than that tiny, little, minuscule exception you're right on point.

----------

The parties should have brought this to the courts a long time ago if they knew they weren't going to be able to reach an agreement. They could have also selected an arbitrator to set the price and then not taken up public court room time. But I guess they couldn't even agree on that sort of a process.

Ericsson offered the exact solution you're suggesting. Apple said no. The same answer they gave Nokia and Motorola in prior disputes.

----------

Who is Ericsson again? Are they a cell phone manufacturer, because I don't remember seeing anything they've done recently? Are they still a valid entity? Do they still have a pulse? Are they gerbils?

You should be embarrassed by your comment. Seriously, are you just joking?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)