Ericsson and Apple are at loggerheads over royalty payments for patents. The Swedish telecom giant has now stepped up its infringement lawsuit and Apple’s iPhone is now facing a potential embargo on sales in many countries and regions. Before the deadline, Ericsson has filed IP cases in Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and other places. The next stop is likely the U.K. and more European countries.
The focus of the competition between the two parties is the renewal of some standard patents. It is said that Apple did not renew the relevant patents after they expired. Apple’s target is to seek for lower patent licensing fees.
Of course, Apple responded to the lawsuit on the one hand and countersued Ericsson on the other hand. After all, Apple also holds some standard patents. They claimed that Ericsson’s wireless base station infringed its intellectual property rights in wireless charging and antennas. Generally speaking, a patent lawsuit lasts for a long time, but in the end, it is rarely a complete tear, and it is nothing more than a test and trade-off of commercial interests.
Ericsson is not taking Apple’s tactics for granted
According to media reports, telecommunication company, Ericsson is suing Apple again over a 5G wireless patent fee dispute. Ericsson disclosed to the media that because the previous agreement has expired, it cannot reach an agreement on the terms and scope of the new patent license. This means that Apple is now using Ericsson’s technology without a license. Ericsson has now made clear the royalty rate it wants to charge in a recent filing. The filing shows that Ericsson is willing to continue to offer Apple the published 5G multimode rate of $5 per phone (an early sign-up discount).
However, Apple believes that after acquiring Intel’s smartphone modem business, it has a share of the 5G patent family that is equal to Ericsson’s. Thus, Apple believes it should pay the Swedish telecom company less patent fees relative to 2015. Nevertheless, the Swedish telecom company has a different view.
In 2021, after Ericsson and Apple failed to renew the telecommunications patent license contract negotiations, the two companies sued each other. However, after a long period of negotiations, the two companies have not yet reached any patent license (covering 5G). The Swedish company sued Apple in October 2021, claiming that Apple unfairly tried to reduce patent rates. Apple countersued Ericsson, accusing it of using “tough tactics” when updating patents.