Apple and Ericsson Reach Licensing Agreement to Settle Dispute Over Cellular Patents

Ericsson today announced it has reached a patent license agreement with Apple that will settle a long-running dispute between the two companies over patents related to cellular technology.

iphone 5g mmwave
The dispute dates back to early 2015 when the two companies sued each other over dozens of Ericsson patents related to cellular technology used in Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad.

The companies reached a seven-year patent licensing agreement in late 2015 that appeared to put an end to the dispute, but it was revived in late 2021 and early 2022 as the 2015 agreement neared its end and the companies were unable to agree on terms for extending the agreement and incorporating additional patents related to newer 5G technology.

With today's announcement, Ericsson and Apple have entered into a new multi-year agreement for cross-licensing cellular-related patents and additional patent rights.

Christina Petersson, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson says: “We are pleased to settle the litigations with Apple with this agreement, which is of strategic importance to our 5G licensing program. This will allow both companies to continue to focus on bringing the best technology to the global market.”

In addition to the patent licensing, the agreement also includes commitments from both companies to strengthen their existing collaborations, "including in technology, interoperability and standards development."

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Top Rated Comments

macfacts Avatar
20 months ago
Apples m. o.: Steal first, pay later.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
20 months ago

Apples m. o.: Steal first, pay later.
Apple only pays later if Apple can't bankrupt the other company with lawyer fees and other costs.

Apple's sitting on a pile of cash so they can afford to drag out cases for a long long time by appealing and counter suing.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Cappy Avatar
20 months ago

Waiting for the apple fan boys to blame this on Ericsson somehow
Meaning that you're trying to dodge criticism of your own highly partisan opinion by preemptively calling names. You've been studying the Putin theory of argument, I see. But I'll take your bait and give you a very realistic and non-partisan explanation for why you can't actually pin this entirely on one party, as you clearly want to.

Consider a situation where there are 2 parties. One has a thriving product, and the other used to have a thriving product but now mainly sells licenses to essential patents that are, because they're essential patents, supposed to be FRAND. But, taking advantage of the essential nature of those patents, the second party demands a price far in excess of what other essential patent holders ask for their licenses, and also more than it charges party 3, 4, and 5. Party 1 considers that a violation of FRAND. Party 1 says, "We're fully willing to pay a FRAND price, but party 2 is asking unreasonable and discriminatory fees." Both parties feel they're in the right. What will happen is that the two parties will litigate and eventually (hopefully) come to some quasi-amicable solution. Each party looks at the other and says, "I was fully ready to pay/license but the other guy's terms were outrageous." A reasonable person could look at this and imagine that Party 1 was probably asking a miser's price, and Party 2 was asking for an amount that was neither fair nor nondiscriminatory. But a really rabid fan-boy of party 2 or a really rabid troll hating party 1 will instead eagerly rush to say, "See? All party 1 ever does is steal!" And gosh. That was you. I'm sure you know exactly how much Ericsson asked initially, and how much the other essential patent holders were getting, though. Because you'd never just jump in like an idiot and start calling names before you actually knew all the facts. Would you?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Babu Life Avatar
20 months ago
Waiting for the apple fan boys to blame this on Ericsson somehow
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mannyvel Avatar
20 months ago
This happens every few years, and seems to be a standard negotiation tactic among everyone in the industry. It's almost as if the IP lawyers coordinate this disputes amongst themselves so they can keep their jobs.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
20 months ago
Typical outcome when big companies sue each other over patents
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)