Ericsson, embroiled in patent litigation against Apple stateside, is taking the fight overseas. The Swedish company has filed lawsuits in Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands, claiming Apple owes royalties for their widespread unlicensed use of 2G and 4G LTE communication standards Ericsson owns. In a statement on the new lawsuits, Ericsson’s Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi said “Apple continues to profit from Ericsson’s technology without having a valid license in place”. Apple refused comment on this recent lawsuit, instead referencing statements made about a similar legal tangling stateside.
“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”, says Apple.
This all surrounds the aforementioned communication standards and use of non-standardized technology, and these European lawsuits are the same as Ericsson filed against Apple in the United States in January.
Apple isn’t disagreeing that Ericsson is owed royalties, they’re just not on the same page regarding how those royalties are appreciated. Apple thinks Ericsson should be getting royalties based on the price of the cellular radio inside a smartphone; Ericsson wants a cut of the entire smartphone price.
Seems sanguine enough — two companies that don’t quite see eye to eye on the finer details, but agree on principle. Ericsson was reportedly seeking a sales ban on Apple products in the United States this February, and Apple has accused Ericsson of “abusive licensing practices”, so it might get messy.