Ericsson brings suit against Apple in Europe

8 May 2015

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In yet another step in Ericsson’s drawn-out battle with Apple, it is bringing another suit against the Cupertino company, this time in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands.

Ericsson claims that it deserves fair compensation for the alleged unlicensed use of its intellectual property by Apple, with this just the latest in a long line of suits filed between the two companies.

In January, Apple brought a suit against Ericsson alleging that the Swedish telecoms equipment giant is charging excessive royalties for LTE wireless technology patents.

Apple argued that the patents are not essential to industry cellular standards and that Ericsson is demanding too much.

Ericsson responded in kind, bringing a suit against Apple in the US, making today’s development far from surprising.

“Apple continues to profit from Ericsson’s technology without having a valid license in place,” says Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson.

“Our technology is used in many features and functionality of today’s communication devices. We are confident the courts in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands will be able to help us resolve this matter in a fair manner.”

Apple has not responded yet, although the results of this could prove monumentally expensive for the Cupertino giant. Samsung and Ericsson got involved in a not entirely dissimilar dispute, which was resolved last year, seeing the latter awarded US$650m as well as years of royalties.

According to Reuters, if this current case also went Ericsson’s way, Apple would have to pay out between US$240 and US$725 million annually, based on estimates of levels of handset sales and royalty payments per phone.

Which is precisely the payment structure Apple has so far challenged.

Picking an apple, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com