Multiple sueballs lobbed

Ericsson seeks US iPad, iPhone ban as it sues Apple over patents

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Last month Apple and Ericsson went to war over the fees Ericsson is trying to charge Apple for the use of its mobile broadband patents. Apple sued Ericsson in an attempt to have the patents declared non-standard-essential (meaning they don’t automatically command royalties) or, if they are found standard-essential, to have Ericsson’s fees declared unreasonably high.

At the time, Ericsson merely went to the Eastern District of Texas district court in search of a judgement saying the patents are indeed essential to 4G standards. Now, however, it’s stepped up its campaign in a big way.

On Thursday Ericsson filed two complaints with the International Trade Commission, asking the ITC to hit Apple’s iPhone and iPads with an exclusion order for “infringing Ericsson patents that are essential to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards.” It also filed multiple complaints with the Eastern District of Texas court, looking for damages and injunctions over the infringement of 41 patents.

These patents cover many things, according to an Ericsson statement:

The patents include standard essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.

According to Ericsson intellectual property chief Kasim Alfahali, the networking technology firm has “acted in good faith to find a fair solution [but] Apple currently uses our technology without a license and therefore we are seeking help from the court and the ITC.”

Apple has previously said it had “always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to standards essential patents covering technology in our products [but had] not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents” and was therefore asking the courts for help. I’ve sought fresh Apple comment on Ericsson’s suits and will add it in as and when I receive it.

5 Responses to “Ericsson seeks US iPad, iPhone ban as it sues Apple over patents”

  1. radioartisan

    It totally blows my mind that a standard requires the use of patented technology and someone can seek royalties for it. That’s a dumb standard, just plain evil, or both. Who, beyond the patent holder, thought that was a good idea?

  2. At the core it’s how they calc the amount, a % of the price of the entire device, same way as Qualcomm does and an utterly unreasonable way.
    Would be great if Ericsson would end up with 98% less than what they want since it would set a precedent for anyone suing Qualcomm next.
    Nvidia vs Samsung and Qualcomm would also help define who is supposed to pay,the chip maker or the device maker and if Nvidia wins a lot of others will try to get their own cut, starting a mess that might force a more radical action from govs.
    In PCs ,the chip makers just figured it out without this circus and absurd licenses for device makers.
    It’s shameful though that standard essential patents are not fully open, guess sanity is something humanity is yet to master.