To accelerate its 5G licensing negotiations with Apple, Ericsson has filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to seek a declaratory judgment that the cellular technology company fulfills the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) requirement and is ready to deal under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms.
The case is filed when the two companies are in the middle of wrinkling out a licensing agreement for Ericsson’s standard-essential 5G patents, technology which are allegedly used in the latest iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPad models.
Ericsson seeks FRAND compliance ruling from the court to claim 5G licensing royalties from Apple
In the filling, Ericsson describes its contribution to the development of “modern cellular network” including infrastructure equipment the mobile phones communicate with and network technologies used on Apple’s products.
As a result of its extensive research and development efforts, Ericsson has been awarded more than fifty-seven thousand patents worldwide. Many of Ericsson’s patents are essential to the telecommunications standards (“Cellular Standards”), including 2G (GSM, GPRS,and EDGE), 3G (UMTS/WCDMA and HSPA), 4G (LTE, LTE-Advanced, and LTE-AdvancedPro) and 5G (NR, New Radio), which are used by Apple’s products.
Ericsson highlights the dispute between the two companies over FRAND compliance to demand 5G royalties. The company mentions that the iPhone maker knew its 5G multimode royalty rates and now it is disputing with Ericsson’s 5G multimode royalty rates and its licensing practices comply with Ericsson’s FRAND commitment. Therefore, it seeks the court’s judgment that it is prepared to grant licenses to its Essential Patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
Apple has publicly accused Ericsson’s licensing practices as violating FRAND, and nothing in Apple’s negotiation conduct shows that it no longer disputes that Ericsson is prepared to grant Apple a license on FRAND terms and conditions and that Ericsson has otherwise complied with the ETSI Intellectual Property Rights Policy. A declaration from this Court will resolve the dispute between the parties.
It is reported that Huawei will also be charging Apple and Samsung to pay royalties for users of its 5G patents, soon.