Ericsson takes legal action to ensure fair licensing agreement with Apple for mobile technology

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  • Every Apple smartphone and tablet with cellular capability uses technology from Ericsson
  • The license agreement has expired and no new agreement has been reached, despite approximately two years of negotiations, resulting in Apple being without a license to Ericsson's technology
  • On January 12, 2015, Apple filed a lawsuit asking the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to find that it does not infringe a small subset of Ericsson's patents
  • 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)
  • Ericsson invests more than USD 5 billion in Research & Development per year resulting in one of the industry's most comprehensive patent portfolios

Following Apple's action, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has today filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas requesting a ruling on Ericsson's proposed global licensing fees with Apple. During the past two years of negotiations, the 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. Ericsson filed the suit in order to receive an independent assessment on whether Ericsson's global licensing offer complies with Ericsson's FRAND commitment.

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."

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. Ericsson's Q4 2014 IPR revenue will include payment from Apple under previous agreement.

Ericsson is committed to licensing its standard-essential patents on FRAND terms to provide a level playing field for all companies, lower the barriers of entry, and increase competition and innovation. As a result of standardization and the FRAND principles, there are approximately 7.5 billion mobile subscriptions in the world today and mobile phones are the most sold consumer product globally.

Ericsson has one of the industry's strongest intellectual property portfolios, which includes more than 35,000 granted patents worldwide. To date, Ericsson has signed more than 100 patent-licensing agreements with most major players in the industry.

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Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society - a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, businesses and societies to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.

Our services, software and infrastructure - especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud - are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

With more than 110,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world's mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. And our investments in research and development ensure that our solutions - and our customers - stay in front.

Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2013 were SEK 227.4 billion (USD 34.9 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.

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