Ericsson sues Apple in 4G technology dispute

Source: Ericsson press office.
Source: Ericsson press office.

Telecoms firm Ericsson is suing Apple over alleged infringement of product patent licensing, and has filed lawsuits against the company in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

The phone provider claims that Apple is currently selling products that use Ericsson’s technology with an expired license.

The lawsuits follow seven previously undertaken by Ericsson against Apple in the U.S., also due to alleged infringement of technology patents.

Ericsson claims it has been offering to resolve the dispute outside of the courts – enter into arbitration – with Apple for the last two years to reach a mutual agreement.

The patent dispute refers to the use of standardised 2G and 4G wireless technology, and also the non-standardised design of physical phone parts.

Ericsson claims it wanted to reach an agreement with Apple that adhered to FRAND licensing obligation terms – often used to settle disputes of patent ownership – of being fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

This enables patent owners to be compensated by users based on their contribution to the invention and development of the technology.

It is predicted the case could cost Apple between $250m and $750m annually if Apple is found guilty of patent licensing infringement, The Guardian reports.

Apple was unable to comment at time of publishing. In 2012, Apple was awarded £665 million when phone provider Samsung was found guilty of intellectual property infringement, based on the digital function and physical look of the brand’s phones.

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