Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has sued Apple in federal court in Texas seeking a declaration that the prices it offered Apple to license its 5G wireless patents were fair and reasonable.
The Swedish iPhone maker has been accused of using improper methods to lower the commission rates it must pay and refusing to license patents under anything other than the terms proposed in suit Raised in Marshall, Texas.
The lawsuit comes as the companies, which settled an earlier licensing dispute in 2015 amid a California court battle, are deadlocked in negotiations for a new license.
The Swedish company said: The possibility of obtaining fair compensation through patent licensing is important. This is to ensure new investments in innovation and the continued success of open standardization and collaboration.
Under an international agreement, owners of patents covering technology necessary to comply with a wireless standard such as 5G must provide licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms FRAND. Disagreements over the FRAND license have led to several high-profile battles in the telecom industry.
The Swedish company said it began licensing its wireless patents to Apple when it first launched the iPhone in 2008. Apple sued the Swedish company in California in 2015 during negotiations for a new license. That was in a case that was settled later that year with a second agreement.
Apple argued in the 2015 case that the Ericsson patents in question were not necessary, and that they were not infringed. She also said that the Swedish company’s demands were excessive.
Read also: Ericsson sues Samsung over patents
Ericsson said in the lawsuit that it began negotiating a new license with Apple in late 2020. Apple has stuck to its position that Ericsson’s pricing is not standard. And that the only way to make it FRAND is to stick with Apple’s self-proclaimed.
Apple requires primary patent holders to allow it to examine, evaluate and license each individual patent in its portfolio at its discretion.
Ericsson said Apple requires it to prove to it that every patent is necessary and valid. AndCellular patent holders typically agree to universal global portfolio licenses.
The complaint said Apple knew it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to analyze thousands of Ericsson’s patents in dozens of courts around the world.
The telecom giant has described Apple’s demands as a tactic to make patent holders subject to Apple’s low rates.
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