Swedish Ericsson and Apple settle patent row

AFP/The Local
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Swedish Ericsson and Apple settle patent row
Swedish Ericsson and Apple have settled a patent dispute. Photo: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has reached a global licensing agreement with Apple that settles several earlier patent disputes between the two companies, the Swedish firm announced on Monday.


The terms of the agreement are confidential, according to the Ericsson statement, but it “includes a cross licence covering the patents on essential standards of the two companies (including GSM, UMTS and LTE standards) and provides certain other patent rights.

“In addition, the agreement... solves all disputes related to violations of patents between the companies,” the statement added.

Ericsson had filed lawsuits in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands over the unlicensed use of its technology in iPhones and other wireless devices.

As part of the agreement, the companies are to collaborate in the development of the next generation 5G cellular standards, the optimization of existing wireless networks for operators and also in video traffic optimization.

“We are pleased with this new agreement with Apple, which clears the way for both companies to continue to focus on bringing new technology to the global market, and opens up for more joint business opportunities in the future,” said Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson.

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While Ericsson no longer makes mobile phones, it remains a leading manufacturer of equipment for mobile networks, and has more than 35,000 technology patents and 100 patent-licensing agreements worldwide.

The Swedish company said in February that the patents concerned the technology in older and current-generation mobile systems, as well as for features like live streaming of television shows and accessing apps on phones.

Apple filed a legal complaint in January against Ericsson, claiming the patents were not up to industry standards and that the Swedish group had asked for excessive royalties for them in its licensing renewal offer.

Ericsson is a Swedish multinational company providing technology and communication services. It has its headquarters in Stockholm and employs more than 110,000 staff worldwide.


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