Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been sued by Ericsson for refusing to pay royalties for use its intellectual property. Ericsson claims that Apple Inc. has infringed on the company’s intellectual property relating to “fundamental technologies”, that enable mobile devices to communicate, by not paying royalties.
Apple Inc. is no alien to lawsuits and counter lawsuits. The most talked about lawsuit the company has been involved in is against Samsung. Time and again we hear that companies sue Apple for alleged infringement in the U.S.. However, this time Ericsson has beefed up its attempt to make Apple pay royalties by suing the company in Germany, the U.K, the Netherlands in addition to U.S. filings.
Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson’s chief IP officer said, “Everybody needs to take a license for the technologies we are providing to them”. He further added, “It’s a very serious thing, regardless of who the company is.”
Apple Inc. had singed a licensing agreement with Ericsson and paid royalties for use of its intellectual property until the license expired in mid-January. Failed talks over renewal fees is likely the cause behind Ericsson now seeking court ruling in this matter.
When the news about this lawsuit broke Ericsson shared took a huge leap of 6.3 percent. The company ‘s market value has risen to $38 billion.
Apple in its complaint in January mentioned that Ericsson, “seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations” and referred to their tactic as “abusive licensing practices.”
Legal battles aren’t new in tech industry and we will just have to wait and see how this one turns out. Many intellectual property activists have highlighted the need to reform patent litigation given the massive scale and implication of these lawsuits.