Apple v Ericsson: Yet ANOTHER patent war bubbles over

Fruity firm shoots, Swedes return fire, lawyers cheer

Apple and Ericsson have both lawyered up and are suing each other in the US courts over LTE patent pricing.

Apple was the first to file a case in the long-running dispute between the tech giants, claiming that the Swedish company's LTE wireless tech patents are "essential to industry cellular standards" and that it is demanding excessive royalties.

The fruity firm said it has not infringed on the patents and does not owe royalties for them, as Reuters reports.

Following Apple's action, Ericsson today filed a complaint requesting a ruling that its licensing fees with Apple are fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND).

During the past two years of negotiations, the companies have not been able to reach an agreement on licensing of Ericsson's patents, said Ericcson in a statement.

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."

He added: "We believe it is reasonable to get fair compensation from companies benefiting from the development we have made over the course of the last 30 years."

Ericsson said it spends around $5bn annually on research and development.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Reuters: "We've always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to standards essential patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents so, as a last resort, we are asking the courts for help."

This is not the first time the Swedish firm has sued in defence of its patent usage. In 2012 Ericsson filed a patent suit against Samsung in the US alleging that the Korean firm had refused to renew a licence. The case was settled last year, with Samsung Electronics agreeing to pay Ericsson $650m plus ongoing royalties. ®

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