Ericsson has decided to give up on its efforts to renew patent licensing agreements over technology used in the iPhone and iPad and instead is taking its case to federal court. The two companies had been negotiating terms to renew a 2008 licensing agreement that expired last month, but so far haven't been able to find terms agreeable to both.
Ericsson goes to Texas to file patent infringement lawsuit against Apple
Ericsson patent strategy head Gustav Brismark said they have been trying to find equitable terms based on the previous licensing agreement, but Apple isn't willing to negotiate, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We're seeking a fair resolution," he said.
Apple is claiming Ericsson is trying to exploit its patents, and that they aren't essential for the LTE wireless standard. The iPhone and iPad maker previously said it was willing to pay fair prices, but that's not what Ericsson is asking for.
"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 so, as a last resort, we are asking the courts for help."
Without a renewed licensing agreement in place, Ericsson is saying that Apple is harming the smartphone market by creating an environment where companies won't be willing to share their patented technologies.
Ericsson filed its patent infringement case in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which is known for favoring patent holders. The company said it gave Apple the option of filing in Texas or California, but didn't receive a response.
Apple filed a lawsuit against Ericsson in January claiming the company was asking for too much money in its licensing negotiations. Ericsson countered with its own lawsuit asking the court to determine whether or not its terms were reasonable.
This new filing makes it clear Ericsson doesn't think it'll be able to reach an agreement with Apple, so instead it's using the court system to force a deal to happen. Apple hasn't commented on Ericsson's latest lawsuit.