Ericsson sues Apple, alleging 5G patent infringement

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Ericsson and Apple are back in court in Texas, months after firing a volley of lawsuits against each other in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Ericsson picked a different venue to file two new 5G patent lawsuits against Apple: the Western District of Texas.

In new filings on Monday, Ericsson alleged that Apple is in violation of essential patents for 5G. Ericsson cited a total of twelve patents between the two. In a previous statement provided to the press, Ericsson said that Apple using its technology without a license, following the expiration of a 2015 settlement. The companies have fired lawsuits back and forth since last October, after talks to renew that 2015 settlement went nowhere.

What’s at issue is how much Apple will pay Ericsson for the privilege of using 5G in its devices. Ericsson wants $5 per iPhone. Apple thinks it should pay less, since its marketshare is much greater now than it was in 2015. What’s more, said Apple, Ericsson’s overall share of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) has decreased.

In October, Ericsson sought a declaratory judgement favoring Ericsson’s proposed licensing rates as fair under “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” licensing (FRAND) guidelines. Ericsson cited compliance with its contractual commitment to European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI). In its complaint, Ericsson accused Apple of a long history of anti-FRAND activity. Apple makes no secret of its disdain for what it sees as anticompetitive abuse of FRAND licensing. That case is pending.

Apple countersued Ericsson in the same court in December. Apple accused Ericsson of using “strong-arm tactics” to renew patents.

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Image: Apple