Ericsson asserts patents against Apple in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands

Press release
May 08, 2015 07:00 (GMT +00:00)
  • Ericsson has filed suits in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands against Apple's products
  • For more than two years Ericsson has been trying to reach an agreement with Apple on a global license for Ericsson's patents on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) 
  • Apple does not currently have any license for Ericsson's technology, but continues to sell products, for which its licenses have expired, on a global scale   
  • Ericsson believes a global system of fair and reasonable compensation through licensing is vital for providing the necessary industry incentive to continue to innovate and develop new technologies for the benefit of consumers

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has filed suits against Apple in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Ericsson had offered to enter into arbitration with Apple to reach a mutually beneficial global licensing agreement for its standard-essential patents, but that offer has now expired.

Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson, says: "Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's technology without having a valid license in place. 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."

The proceedings in the three countries were recently initiated and refer to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards, as well as other technology that is not standardized, but is related to, for instance, the design of semiconductor components and non-cellular wireless communications.

For more than two years Ericsson has been trying to reach an agreement with Apple on a global license for Ericsson's patents on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), but the companies have failed to reach an amicable resolution. Ericsson's national lawsuits in Europe are other efforts to protect and support its investment in R&D.

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. FRAND principles promote shared standards and open technology up to any licensed user, which enables high performance interoperability across networks by devices from multiple manufacturers.

Ericsson engineers contribute technology that enables billions of mobile users around the world today. Smartphones are the most sold consumer product globally and smartphone owners benefit from shared innovations in new standards like 4G/LTE, which have enabled the creation of high-speed data networks that connect the world and enable people to, for instance, send pictures, video chat, follow their favorite television shows or consult with doctors in remote places, from any location. Under the FRAND commitment, essential patent owners like Ericsson are compensated proportionally in relation to their contribution to the standardized technology.

Ericsson has one of the industry's strongest intellectual property portfolios, which includes more than 37,000 granted patents, and equally as many pending application, worldwide. To date, Ericsson has signed more than 100 patent-licensing agreements with most major players in the industry.

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, business and society 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 approximately 115,000 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 2014 were SEK 228.0 billion (USD 33.1 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.


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