Ericsson and Apple had reached a licensing agreement for use of the technology back in 2008; however, that expired in January. The company says it tried to negotiate a new licensing agreement based on the same principles as the previous agreement; however, Apple declined the deal and refused to let a court determine fair licensing terms.
“Our last offer was to have this determination either in [a federal court in] Texas or in a court selected by Apple in California. They declined,” said Gustav Brismark, head of patent strategy at Ericsson. “We’re seeking a fair resolution. We believe that the royalties that we’re demanding are reflected in the value that our technology brings to these products.”
Ericsson has now filed two complaints against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission and seven complaints in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Ericsson says many of its patents are essential to the 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE standards, others are critical to other non-standardized aspects of Apple's devices. Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson, said: "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. 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."