In an interesting development in Ericsson’s legal battle with Apple, a court in Colombia has ordered a ban on 5G iPhones and iPads in the country. The devices are banned from sale and import.
Ericsson’s legal battle with Apple over 5G patents takes shocking turn
As a refresher, in October 2021, Ericsson sued Apple at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to accelerate the 5G licensing negotiations. In turn. Apple in December 2021, filed a lawsuit against Ericsson accusing the company of using “strong-arm tactics” during negotiations over 5G network licensing.
Now, as reported by Foss Patents, the Juzgado 042 Civil del Circuito de Bogota, in the capital of Colombia, declared in April that Apple’s 5G iPhones and iPads infringe on claim 13 of Colombian patent NC2019/0003681.
Less than six months after the current wave of Ericsson v. Apple patent infringement actions started, the first sales and import ban is already being enforced:
Apple is currently unable to sell 5G iPhones and iPads in Colombia, or import them into the South American country
Following the court’s decision, Ericsson was required to post a bond of $50,000 in May as a prerequisite for enforcement. On Wednesday, July 6, the court ordered a preliminary injunction which Apple’s Colombian subsidiary has to obey.
The Cupertino tech giant is appealing the court’s decision. In the meantime, however, it is banned from “the import, sale, commercialization, and advertisement of products infringing that patent” and is required to “warn and communicate” shops, retailers, mass media, etc, within the territory of Colombia in order to ensure compliance.
Affected devices include the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, third-generation iPhone SE as well as several iPads with 5G.
Though Apple is trying to appeal the ruling, the company has been barred by the judge from seeking an antisuit injunction which could stop Erisson from enforcing the ruling.
In addition to this, Apple is also suing Ericsson in the Eastern District of Texas as a result of the ruling and “any fines, fees, penalties, and costs it incurs as a result of the Colombian injunction.” An antisuit damages claim could help Apple avoid contempt-of-court sanctions in Colombia. We will simply have to wait and see where this legal battle heads.