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© tom_schmucker dreamstime.com General | January 14, 2015

Ericsson and Apple in legal battle over licensing fees

An expired licensing agreement with Apple is the source of what looks to become yet another legal battle surrounding Apple. Ericsson has tried to renew license agreement with Apple, but no breakthrough has been reached.
This has happened: a licensing agreement between Apple – concerning technology from Ericsson – has expired and no new agreement has been reached, despite approximately two years of negotiations, resulting in Apple being without a license to Ericsson's technology.

On January 12, 2015, Apple filed a lawsuit asking the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to find that it does not infringe a small subset of Ericsson's patents

In response Ericsson filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas requesting the court to determine if its global licensing offer for Ericsson's standard essential patent portfolios to Apple is fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND)

Following Apple's action, Ericsson has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas requesting a ruling on Ericsson's proposed global licensing fees with Apple.

During the past two years of negotiations, the companies have not been able to reach an agreement on licensing of Ericsson's patents that enable Apple's mobile devices to connect with the world and power many of their applications. Ericsson filed the suit in order to receive an independent assessment on whether Ericsson's global licensing offer complies with Ericsson's FRAND commitment.

Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson, said: "Our goal is to reach a mutually beneficial resolution with Apple. They have been a valued partner for years and we hope to continue that partnership. Global sharing of technology has created the success of the mobile industry and allowed new entrants to quickly build successful businesses. We believe it is reasonable to get fair compensation from companies benefitting from the development we have made over the course of the last 30 years."

The global license agreement between Ericsson and Apple for mobile technology has expired and Apple has declined to take a new license on offered FRAND terms. Ericsson's Q4 2014 IPR revenue will include payment from Apple under previous agreement.

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