Apple, Ericsson End Court Fight with new Patent Licensing Deal

Apple has one less patent infringement fight on its hands now that it has a deal in place with Ericsson to pay licensing fees for wireless tech used in the iPhone. The agreement wraps up a year-long fight where the two companies couldn't agree on new licensing terms.

Apple, Ericsson strike new patent licensing agreementApple, Ericsson strike new patent licensing agreement

Ericsson said it signed a seven year deal with Apple, but isn't offering up any details on how much money will change hands. With the new licensing agreement in place, the U.S. and European patent infringement lawsuits and ITC complaint Apple was facing are now over, too.

Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson's Chief Intellectual Property Officer, said,

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.

Those joint business opportunities will include what Ericsson called collaboration "in multiple technology areas, including the development of the next generation 5G cellular standards, the optimization of existing wireless networks."

The now-resolved patent dispute started at the beginning of 2015 when Apple gave up on two years of negotiations to renew licensing terms for wireless patents Ericsson owns. Apple claimed Ericsson was demanding an unfairly high price, so it took the fight to U.S. Federal court in California.

Ericsson countered by filing its own suit where it asked a Texas Federal court to decide whether or not the licensing fees it demanded were fair. The company followed up a few weeks later with a patent infringement suits in Texas, then Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands.

With a new licensing deal in place, both companies can move forward without a courtroom fight, and it looks like they have some serious collaboration in store, too.