Wide-ranging cellular tech behind Ericsson, Apple patent dispute

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A wide range of cellular technology is at the heart of a new patent dispute between Ericsson and Apple.

The two companies have filed lawsuits in the US this week over the use of Ericsson tech in Apple devices.

An existing global license agreement between the two companies has expired and Apple has declined to take a new license on offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) terms.

Apple has filed in California, while Ericsson has requested a ruling in Texas.

Ericsson has an intellectual property portfolio that includes more than 35,000 granted patents worldwide.

Precise details of the patents involved in this latest dispute have not been released, but Gustav Brismark, Ericsson Vice President of Patent Strategy & Portfolio, gave Mobile Europe a broad outline.

He said: “Ericsson owns a large portfolio of patents that are essential to 2G, 3G and 4G… [Apple] needs a license to all of these patents for their cellular products, eg. iPhones and iPads.”

Apple’s latest devices, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and Watch, were announced last September. The smarpthones featured an NFC-based payment service.

Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson, commented: “Global sharing of technology has created the success of the mobile industry and allowed new entrants to quickly build successful businesses.

“We believe it is reasonable to get fair compensation from companies benefitting from the development we have made over the course of the last 30 years.”

Apple was not available for comment. 

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