Ericsson today said it has taken legal action against smartphone and tablet maker Apple.
The company approached the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas after Apple filed a case against Ericsson to lower the license fee.
The telecom network vendor says every Apple smartphone and tablet with cellular capability uses technology from Ericsson. Ericsson has more than 35,000 granted patents worldwide. Ericsson has signed more than 100 patent-licensing agreements with most major players in the industry.
Ericsson invests more than $5 billion in Research & Development per year.
The license agreement between Ericsson and Apple has expired. Both companies have been negotiating for nearly two years to finalize a license deal. Ericsson says Apple is currently using Ericsson’s patented technology without a license.
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 is requesting a ruling on Ericsson’s proposed global licensing fees with Apple. 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.”
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.
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.