Ericsson extends patent suits against Apple to Europe

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By Larry Banks

Swedish telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson (STO: ERICB) has just filed lawsuits in Germany, Britain and the Netherlands against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) over technology license payments, according to a statement from Ericsson on Friday, extending a U.S. battle between the firms to Europe.

Ericsson and Apple go head-to-head

Ericsson has it had offered to enter into talks with Apple to reach a global licensing deal for its patents, but that the offer has now expired.

“Apple continues to profit from Ericsson’s technology without having a valid license in place”, said Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson.

“Our technology is used in many features and functionality of today’s communication devices. We are confident the courts in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands will be able to help us resolve this matter in a fair manner”, he added.

An Apple spokesperson decline to comment on the legal action, which relates to 2G and 4G/LTE mobile communications standards, but instead referred to its earlier statement from January:

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents so, as a last resort, we are asking the courts for help”, part of the statement said.

Meanwhile, Ericsson had already filed a complaint in January in the US against Apple, in response to a lawsuit from the Cupertino-based iPhone maker.

And last year, Samsung agreed to pay Ericsson $650 million and years of royalties to end a license dispute.

If the beef with Apple also went to Ericsson, the US firm would have to pay between 2-6 billion Swedish crowns ($240-725 million) every year, analysts said, based on estimated phone sales and royalties per phone.

SOURCE: Reuters

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