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Friday, February 27, 2015
Ericsson Sues Apple Over Patent Infringement


Ericsson is suing Apple Inc for patent infringement, Ericsson said on Friday.

The Sweedish company said it filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting an exclusion order against Apple's products for infringing Ericsson patents that are essential to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards.

It also filed a second ITC complaint seeking an exclusion order and seven additional complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas requesting damages and injunctions for infringement of patents "critical to many other aspects of Apple's devices".

The patents include standard essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system. Ericsson seeks exclusion orders in the ITC proceedings and damages and injunctions in the District Court actions.

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."

Last month, Ericsson filed a suit in the Eastern District of Texas in order to receive an independent assessment on whether Ericsson's global licensing offer to Apple complies with Ericsson's commitment to offer fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms. Apple also 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, a claim that Ericsson disputes.

Apple's global license agreement for Ericsson's mobile technology expired last month, and Apple has declined to take a new license offered on FRAND terms. Ericsson says it made several attempts to find a fair solution, including an offer for both parties to be bound by a decision on fair licensing terms by a United States federal court. Apple has refused all attempts.

Seperately, Texas company Smartflash LLC is suing Apple again.

On Tuesday, a jury in federal court in Tyler, Texas found that Apple willfully violated three Smartflash patents with devices that use its iTunes software. $532.9 million was awarded to Smartflash, but now the company is suing the iPhone maker again over patents used in devices introduced after the original case was underway.

Smartflash LLC aims to make Apple pay for using the patent licensing firm's technology without permission in devices not be included in the previous case, such as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2.

Apple said after Tuesday's verdict it would appeal and that the outcome was another reason reform was needed in the patent system to curb litigation by companies that make money off patent royalties instead of products.



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