Ericsson Extends Apple Patent Fight to Europe

Ericsson's wireless patent licensing lawsuit against Apple has now grown from just a fight in the United States to include The U.K., Germany, and Netherlands. Apple was licensing Ericsson's patents at one point, but the two companies failed to find agreeable terms for renewal when their original deal expired.

Ericsson takes its patent licensing fight with Apple to EuropeEricsson takes its patent licensing fight with Apple to Europe

The patent lawsuits state that Ericsson spent more than two years trying to negotiate a new licensing agreement with Apple, but wasn't successful. Ericsson claims Apple wasn't willing to negotiate, while Apple said the fees Ericsson wants are unreasonably high.

"We've always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to standards essential patents covering technology in our products," Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet said. "Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents."

Apple filed a lawsuit in January over claims Ericsson was demanding too much money for industry essential patents. Ericsson responded in February with its own lawsuit saying Apple has been infringing on its patents for the past two years.

Ericsson has now followed up by filing three more lawsuits and taking its patent infringement fight international.

"Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's technology without having a valid license in place. Our technology is used in many features and functionality of today's communication devices," said Ericsson Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi.

These new lawsuits are likely an effort on Ericsson's part to pressure Apple into agreeing to a licensing proposal instead of facing off in court. Considering Apple sees Ericsson's offer as an abuse of its patents, however, there may be an ugly fight in the works.