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Will Ericsson’s Lawsuit Block The Sales Of Apple Products In The USA?


Friday was about Ericsson filing lawsuits and taking legal actions concerning some patent issues. While two complaints have been filed with the US International Trade Commission, seven lawsuits are filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple. The former has alleged the latter over breaching 41 of its patents.

The trade commission has also been asked by Ericsson to block the sales of Apple products in the US.

Besides technology concerning 2G and 4G/LTE standards, the patents mentioned in the complaints include, semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.

According to the claims by the Swedish telecommunications equipment vendor, last month, Apple’s global licensing agreement for Ericsson’s patents expired. Following which Apple “declined” to take a new license based on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms — known in the industry as FRAND. Numerous efforts were made to reach an agreeable way out with Apple, including “an offer for both parties to be bound by a decision on fair licensing terms by a United States federal court.” Nevertheless, Apple supposedly declined.

“By refusing Ericsson’s fair and reasonable licensing offer for patented technology used in Apple smartphones and tablets, Apple harms the entire market and reduces the incentive to share innovation,” reported Ericsson.

With Ericsson approximately possessing 35,000 patents in its portfolio; approximately 100 deals have been agreed on by the corporation with the industry top guns till date.

“Apple’s products benefit from the technology invented and patented by Ericsson’s engineers. Features that consumers now take for granted — like being able to livestream television shows or access their favorite apps from their phone — rely on the technology we have developed,” Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer, Ericsson stated. “We are committed to sharing our innovations and have acted in good faith to find a fair solution. Apple currently uses our technology without a license and therefore we are seeking help from the court and the ITC.” In the lawsuits, Ericsson has mentioned that it is difficult to put a figure on the loss it has undergone due to Apple’s denial to agree to a license without going through discovery and special accounting processes.

Apple is taking a big lawsuit hits from all over

Apple is no stranger to the courts – a lot of patent and other lawsuits have been filled against Apple in the last couple of years

Being no stranger to courts, when it comes to disputes relating to patents, Apple has been ordered to pay $533 million in damages to Smartflash, this week. This was after the former was found guilty of deliberately infringing on patents licensed by the latter. Despite the fact that Apple is planning to appeal the ruling, Smartflash has more damages to do. A new lawsuit has already been filed by Smartflash against Apple, which is based upon the very same disputed patents, concerning the access and storage of data, digital rights management as well as payment systems, however, this time it is for devices (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2), which were previously not included in the original lawsuit.

Apple’s take on this matter could not be obtained and they didn’t react to a request for their statement.

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