Ericsson and Apple file legal actions against each other

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Ericsson lawsuit counters case filed by Apple over alleged use of Ericsson technology in Apple smartphones and tablets

Ericsson and Apple have filed legal action against each other regarding the use of Ericsson technology in the iPhone manufacturer’s products.

Ericsson claims that its technology is being used in every one of Apple’s mobile products (iPhone and iPad) despite the expiration of a licence agreement governing the patents.

Apple kicked off the legal action, filing a suit on January 12 at a Californian Court asking it to find that it does not infringe a small subset of Ericsson’s patents. It believes the licensing fees Ericsson is charging are excessive.

The court submission said: “Ericsson seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations, which resulted from years of hard work by Apple engineers and designers and billions of dollars of Apple research and development – and which have nothing to do with Ericsson’s patents.”

Ericsson holds more than 35,000 patents and spends $5billion every year on an R&D department which employs 25,000 people. 50 per cent of the world’s 4G traffic is carried on networks which it manages or has built.

Ericsson hit back yesterday (January 14), asking it to determine if its global licensing offer for its standard patent portfolio to Apple was fair. It claims that two years of negotiations with Apple over licensing fees have failed to reach agreement. The previous agreement expired on December 31.

“Our goal is to reach a mutually beneficial resolution with Apple,” said Ericsson chief intellectual property officer Kasim Alfalahi.

“They have been a valued partner for years and we hope to continue that partnership. Global sharing of technology has created the success of the mobile industry and allowed new entrants to quickly build successful businesses. We believe it is reasonable to get fair compensation from companies benefitting from the development we have made over the course of the last 30 years.”

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