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Patent Licensing Dispute Between Apple 5G and Ericsson

Patent Licensing Dispute
| Updated: Mar 14, 2022 | Category: Patent

Currently, Apple is involved in a Patent Licensing Dispute with a Sweden tech giant Ericsson. The dispute is over royalty payments for using 5G wireless Patents in iPhones. Scroll down to check details regarding Patent Licensing Dispute between Apple 5G and Ericsson.

Patent Licensing Dispute between Apple 5G and Ericsson – Background

Earlier in 2015, Apple and Ericsson had signed a legal licensing contract over telecom Patents and this contract ended in 2022 and reportedly, Apple did not renew the licenses. All devices need licensing a Patent which is known as SEP or Standards Essential Patent. An International Agreement exists that the licenses for such Patents should be under FRAND terms, which means fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory. What this confirms that the price is reasonable and no company is permitted to charge one company or entity more than another one. Apple was licensing a number of SEPs or Standards Essential Patents that were owned by Ericsson. Not only that, but it was also licensing other Patents that are not Standards Essential Patents. Apple allegedly wanted to negotiate a reduced fee when the license expired.

Initially, Ericsson has sued Apple in the United States and one more European Country. However, now it has filed suits against Apple in Brazil, Germany, and the Netherlands. Ericsson is arguing that Apple has infringed its Patent around 4G & 5G technology which is used in more of Apple’s iPhones. Apple has also claimed that Ericsson has violated its Patents & is looking for a ban on imports of technology based on those Patents. Ericsson is seeking a ban on imports of iPhones as it alleges Patent Infringement by Apple Company.

When did this Patent Licensing Dispute between Apple 5G and Ericsson start?

In October, Ericsson first filed a case against Apple making it clear that it was unhappy regarding Apple to lessen the royalty fees. Apple[1] replied with a lawsuit of its own in December where it accused Ericsson of using robust-arm approaches in order to get the Patent renewed. According to the Reuters report, an Ericsson spokesman said, since the prior agreement has expired, and we have been not able to reach an agreement on the terms & ambit of a new license, Apple is now using our latest technology without a license.

Patent lawsuits are common among technology companies because every dollar saved could amount to noteworthy amounts over the time duration of the agreement, with companies like Ericsson charging from $2.5 to $5 for every 5G device.


Since the Patent Licensing contract between Apple and Ericsson has not been renewed & lawsuits are being filed across continents, it could be a long battle. Particularly, Ericsson had a long-standing legal Patent Licensing Dispute with Samsung as well as over global Patent Licenses. The issue or dispute was settled last year in May 2021 but after a long legal battle.

Read our Article:Issues and Challenges While Patenting Nanotechnology in India – An Overview

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A legal writing enthusiast, a wanderer, and a zealous reader. After gaining a lot of knowledge about the diverse legal topics and developing research skills, Karan joined the league of legal content writers to deliver quality-rich blogs.

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