Ericsson Sues Apple Over Mobile Phone Technologies

Ericsson AB has sued Apple Inc. in three countries, according to statements from Ericsson.  The lawsuits are based on patent infringement allegations stemming from failed licensing negotiations. 

Ericsson has filed actions in Germany, the U.K. and the Netherlands and added to pending US actions.  Erisson is looking for a patent license agreement and royalty payments for its patented mobile phone interface, battery and operating technologies.   

Ericsson’s chief intellectual property officer, Kasim Alfalahi, stated that “everybody needs to take a license for the technologies we are providing to them” and “it’s a very serious thing, regardless of who the company is.”

Ericsson and Apple had a previous license agreement that expired in January 2015.  The companies sued each other when renewal negotiations for a new license failed.  Apple seeks a court ruling on whether Ericsson’s royalty rates for its technology were fair and reasonable.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter and referred to a January statement that the company’s “always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights,” and that legal action was needed to help strike an agreement with Ericsson.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad have been highly successful in recent years, but Ericsson was one of the early entrants in the mobile-device market. The company sold its mobile-phone business to Sony Corp. in February 2012, five years after Apple introduced the iPhone.