Ericsson sues Apple over iPhone 5G wireless patent royalty

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Swedish technology company Ericsson has filed a series of patent infringement lawsuits against Apple over royalty payments for the use of its 5G wireless patents on iPhones.

Quoted from Reuters, Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the two companies have sued each other in the United States because negotiations failed over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecommunications patents that first occurred in 2015.

Ericsson sued for the first time in October, claiming that Apple was trying to “incorrectly” reduce royalty rates. Apple then filed a lawsuit in December accusing the Swedish company of using “powerful tactics” to renew patents.

“Ericsson has refused to negotiate fair terms for renewing our patent licensing agreement, and has instead sued Apple worldwide for extorting excessive royalties. We are asking the courts to help determine a fair price,” an Apple spokesperson said.

Patent lawsuits are fairly common among tech companies as any money saved can be significant over the duration of the agreement, with companies like Ericsson charging $2.50-5 for each 5G handset.

“Since the previous agreement expired, and we were unable to reach an agreement on the terms and scope of the new license, Apple is now using our technology without a license,” an Ericsson spokesperson said.

The Swedish company invests about $5 billion a year in research, has a portfolio of more than 57,000 patents, and royalties from its patent portfolio account for about a third of its operating profit.

Last year Ericsson settled a patent lawsuit with Samsung after months of court battles that temporarily hit its quarterly earnings. Pending dues are usually removed once settlement is reached.


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