Ericsson Sues Apple Again Over 5G Patent Licensing Infringements

Telecom big Ericsson has filed one other set of patent infringement lawsuits towards Apple in a long-running dispute between the 2 corporations over royalty funds for using 5G wi-fi patents in iPhones.

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In 2021, each corporations sued one another within the US after negotiations failed over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecom patents protecting 2G, 3G, and 4G applied sciences that was established in 2015.

Despite lengthy negotiations, the 2 corporations have been unable to succeed in a brand new patent-licensing settlement that additionally covers 5G, and in October, Ericsson sued Apple claiming that the corporate was unfairly making an attempt to cut back royalty charges. Two months later, Apple countersued Ericsson, accusing the Swedish firm of utilizing “strong-arm tactics” in its bid to resume patents.

“Since the prior agreement has expired, and we have been unable to reach agreement on the terms and scope of a new license, Apple is now using our technology without a license,” an Ericsson spokesman instructed Reuters.

Ericsson is likely to be a relative minnow within the smartphone enterprise, however its portfolio of telecommunications patents is huge. The firm holds over 57,000 patents, royalties from which account for round a 3rd of its working revenue. As for its 5G patent, the corporate often collects $2.50 to $5 in royalties per telephone.

According to a current Ericsson filing, that is the speed it nonetheless desires to gather: “Ericsson is willing to continue to offer Apple our publicly announced 5G multimode rate of $5 per phone (with a $1 early signing discount) a rate which we will continue to honor assuming we execute a license relatively quickly.”

However, following its acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem enterprise, Apple believes it now holds a share of declared 5G patent households that’s corresponding to Ericsson’s share. As such, Apple thinks its internet funds to Ericsson ought to lower in comparison with the 2015 license.

Shortly after it acquired Intel’s patents, Apple published a statement on its web site protecting the truthful, affordable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of ordinary important patents (SEPs). In the assertion, Apple cautioned towards any corporations that “use the power conferred by standardization to eliminate competition through selective patent licensing or discriminatory and excessive royalties.”

Despite its place, Florian Mueller, an mental property knowledgeable who runs the Foss Patents website, believes Apple is preventing a dropping battle and that Ericsson has the benefit, because of current phrases it agreed with Samsung for using its 5G patents.

“The overall circumstances suggest to me that Ericsson is going to win this, and the only leverage Apple has is ‘hold-out.'” says Muller. “I believe the Ericsson-Samsung license deal involves a somewhat lower royalty rate on those Samsung phones that cost a fraction of an iPhone, but that whenever the terms of the Ericsson-Samsung license come into play (comparable licenses, non-discrimination), Ericsson can argue that even Samsung accepted to pay a royalty rate that is consistent with demanding $5 per ‌iPhone‌ from Apple.”