Apple faces iPhone, iPad-related patent suits from Ericsson

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has filed separate patent complaints against Apple Inc. asserting 41 patents involving the American company’s iPhone and iPad products.

Ericsson said the patents are related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards such as design of semi-conductor components, user interface software, location services, as well as other patents that “are critical to features and functionalities of Apple devices.”

Two complaints were filed with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Apple’s global license agreement for Ericsson mobile technology expired last month, but the smart phone maker has declined to obtain a new once, according to Ericsson.

Apple is facing other patent legal troubles. It was recently ordered by the courts to pay a US$532.9 million settlement to Smartflash, LLC for infringing on patents held by the Texas-based patent licensing firm. After that decision, Smartflash filed a new law suit against Apple this week, covering products involved in the earlier case including the iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

“Apple’s products benefit from the technology invented and patented by Ericsson’s engineers,” a statement by Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson. “Features that consumers now take for granted – like being able to livestream television shows or access their favourite apps from their phone – rely on the technology we developed.”

He said Ericsson wants to share its innovations “in good faith and to find a fair solution” but Apple using the technology without a license. The telecom firm said Apple refused its offer to have a court determine fair licensing terms that is why it sued the American company.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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