Apple sued Ericsson alleging that the Swedish company's LTE wireless technology patents are not essential to industry cellular standards and that it is demanding excessive royalties for these patents. On January 12, Apple filed a lawsuit asking the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to find that it does not infringe Ericsson's patents.
Apple says that Ericsson is seeking royalties for the LTE technology calculated as a percentage of the price of the entire smartphone or tablet. The royalties should be based on the value of the processor chip that includes the technology, Apple said in the lawsuit.
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).
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. During the past two years of negotiations, the two 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.
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."
"We've always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to standards essential patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents so, as a last resort, we are asking the courts for help," said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.