Ericsson Demands Apple Ban in US

Ericsson, Swedish multinational communications technology and service provider, has filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission and seven other lawsuits in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, its counterpart in the communications technology industry.

Ericsson sued the iPad and iPhone maker, alleging that a total of 41 of its patents are being infringed on. Part of the legal action, which was announced on Friday, also includes a request by the company demanding that the trade commission block Apple products in the US market.

The patents in dispute include technology related to 2G and 4G/LTE standards, semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.

Ericsson claims that Apple’s global licensing agreement for Ericsson’s patents expired last month and that Apple “declined” to take a new license based on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms, a term known in the industry as FRAND.

The company alleged that Apple refused several attempts and offer it has made to reach a solution, which include an offer for both parties to be bound by a decision on fair licensing terms by a United States federal court.

“By refusing Ericsson’s fair and reasonable licensing offer for patented technology used in Apple smartphones and tablets, Apple harms the entire market and reduces the incentive to share innovation,” Ericsson said.

Ericsson’s portfolio includes approximately 35,000 patents, and the company has struck about 100 deals with industry players to date.

Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson said in a statement that Apple’s products benefit from the technology invented and patented by Ericsson’s engineers.

He added that features like the ability to livestream television shows or access favorite apps from phones that consumers now take for granted rely on the technology Ericsson has developed.

Meanwhile, Apple was ordered this week to pay $533 million in damages to Smartflash after being found guilty of willfully infringing on patents licensed by the company. Although Apple plans to appeal the ruling, Smartflash has already filed a new lawsuit against it based on the same disputed patents. This relates to the access and storage of data, digital rights management and payment systems while the new suit covers devices not included in the original lawsuit, such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2.

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