Apple and wireless technology company Ericsson have disclosed their ongoing fight over royalties and patents including the LTE, UMTS and GSM standards used in mobile technology such as smartphones.
After a license agreement for Apple’s use of Ericsson cellular technology expired, and two years of negotiations failed, Apple sued Ericsson on Monday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California said that while it uses Ericsson’s LTE technology in its products, it does not believe that the patents related to that technology are essential to cellular operation and fetch too much in royalties.
Apple & Ericsson Ends the Battle Over Licensing and Patents
An Apple spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal:
“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.”
In its response in the Texas court, Ericsson, which has 35,000 granted patents worldwide, said that it has reached fair deals with more than 100 companies in the industry. Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson Chief Intellectual Property Officer said in a statement on Wednesday:
“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. We believe it is reasonable to get fair compensation from companies benefiting from the development we have made over the course of the last 30 years.”
According to Apple, its main issue with Ericsson’s licensing model is that it is based on a percentage of the total price of the smartphones. Apple believes the royalty should be based solely on the cost of the chip it’s acquiring from Ericsson and nothing more. This type of legal battle is highly common in the mobile tech world as it is estimated that any given smartphone has around 250,000 patents.