Ericsson Starts a New Patent War, This Time With Apple
Apple and Ericsson are suing each other in the US court after failing to reach an agreement regarding the pricing of wireless-tech patents used by various smartphone manufacturers.
According to Apple, Ericsson is seeking excessive royalties for its LTE patents, even though, they are not essential to the industry cellular standards anymore. The iPhone maker has asked the Federal Court of California to rule that Ericsson’s patents are not essential for long term evolution.
Apple’s spokesperson said that the royalties should be based on the value of the processor chip that includes the technology, and not by hierarchy. However, if the court decides to deem the patents essential and charge Apple for its infringement, Apple wants the court to assign a reasonable royalty rate.
Both the companies currently have a license agreement that covers many of Ericsson’s allegedly standard-essential patents. The agreement was signed in 2008, soon after Apple launched the iPhone.
Ericsson has a long history of patent war, in 2012, it sued Samsung Electronics Co. for infringement, saying the South Korean phone maker failed to extend a licensing deal after years of negotiations. The two sides reached a settlement a year ago with a new licensing deal over wireless technology in smartphones, TVs, tablets and Blu-ray disk players.
You might recall, one of the recent patent wars Ericsson was involved in, was the Xiaomi patent infringement in India which led to the Chinese company’s temporary ban in the country. Ericsson sued Xiaomi saying the Chinese phone maker hadn’t licensed its inventions. Ericsson spokesman says that the company holds several essential patents for 2G, 3G and 4G wireless technology, which means any seller of products compliant with those standards must secure licenses.