Linkfest Emboldened by its $533m patent-infringement win against Apple just a few days ago, Smartflash is suing the iPhone maker AGAIN – and Ericsson is joining the fray.
Ericsson v Apple
The Swedish telecoms giant has filed two complaints to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) – one accusing Apple handhelds of ripping off Ericsson's patents on 2G and 4G mobile broadband connectivity, and the other claiming the California giant is using Ericsson's patents on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio electronics, and other technology without permission.
Ericsson wants the ITC to ban imports of Apple's China-built iPhones and iPads, which are allegedly infringing the Swedes' patents, into America. The Euro giant has sued Apple in the patent-holder-friendly eastern district court of Texas in the US, again alleging patent infringement, demanding jury trials, and calling for injunctions against Apple hardware.
The 2G/4G patents are so-called essential patents, meaning they describe technology that everyone has agreed is needed for modern communications, and are thus supposed to be licensed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms to all manufacturers.
Ericsson, which has offices in Texas, says Apple had coughed up cash to license its patented technology, but that agreement, we're told, expired and wasn't renewed by Apple. Now Ericsson's upset iPhones and iPads continue to roll into America without permission and with no royalties checks in the mail to Ericsson. Thus the Swedes want damages from Apple, and a ban on imports until the matter is settled.
Here's the list of the complaints filed to the Texas court, including the patents allegedly infringed:
- 2:15-cv-17: Ericsson alleges breach of contract, claiming Apple...
globally licensed Ericsson Essential Patents in 2008, but its license has now expired. During the past two years of negotiations for a renewal agreement, Ericsson extended multiple offers to Apple to renew its portfolio license on FRAND terms. These negotiations have been unsuccessful for the simple reason that Apple refuses to pay a FRAND royalty for a license to Ericsson’s Essential Patents.
- 2:15-cv-288: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US patent 6,037,798: "Line Receiver Circuit Having Termination Impedances with Transmission Gates Connected in Parallel."
- US patent 6,100,770: "MIS Transistor Varactor Device and Oscillator Using Same"
- US patent 6,597,787: "Echo Cancellation Device For Cancelling Echos in a Transceiver Unit"
- US patent 7,151,430: "Method of and Inductor Layout for Reduced VCO Coupling"
- US patent 7,580,683: "Radio Transceiver on a Chip"
- US patent 8,626,086: "Radio Transceiver on a Chip"
- 2:15-cv-289: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US patent 6,026,293: "System for Preventing Electronic Memory Tampering"
- US patent 6,400,376: "Display Control for Hand-Held Data Processing Device"
- US patent 6,857,068: "System and Method for Data Processing by Executing a Security Program Routine Initially Stored in a Protected Part of Irreversibly Blocked Memory Upon Start-Up"
- US patent 6,901,251: "Portable Communication Apparatus Having a Man-Machine Interface and a Method for its Operation:
- US letters patent RE43,931: "Radiotelephones Having Contact-Sensitive User Interfaces and Methods of Operating Same"
- 2:15-cv-290: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US patent 6,360,102: "System and Method for Defining A Subscriber Location Privacy Profile"
- US patent 6,433,735: "Mobile Terminal and System and Method for Determining the Geographic Location of a Mobile Terminal"
- US patent 6,535,815: "Position Updating Method for a Mobile Terminal Equipped with a Positioning Receiver"
- US patent 6,553,236: "On Demand Location Function for Mobile Terminal"
- US patent 6,993,325: "Method for Facilitating Electronic Communications"
- US patent 7,149,534: "Peer to Peer Information Exchange for Mobile Communications Devices"
- 2:15-cv-291: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US patent 7,149,510: "Security Access Manager in Middleware"
- US patent 7,286,823: "Mobile Multimedia Engine"
- US patent 7,415,270: "Middleware Services Layer for Platform System for Mobile Terminals"
- US patent 7,536,181: "Platform System for Mobile Terminals"
- US patent 7,707,592: "Mobile Terminal Application Subsystem and Access Subsystem Architecture Method and System"
- US patent 8,079,015: "Layered Architecture for Mobile Terminals"
- 2:15-cv-292: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US patent 6,433,512: "Power Consumption Reporting by an Accessory of an Electronic Device"
- US patent 6,763,247: "Portable Telecommunication Apparatus for Controlling an Electronic Utility Device"
- US patent 6,968,365: "Device and a Method for Operating an Electronic Utility Device From a Portable Telecommunication Apparatus"
- US patent 8,170,472: "Arrangement and a Method in a Telephony System"
- 2:15-cv-293: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US patent 6,633,550: "Radio Transceiver on a Chip"
- US patent 6,157,620: "Enhanced Radio Telephone for Use In Internet Telephony"
- US patent 6,029,052: "Multiple-Mode Direct Conversion Receiver"
- US patent 8,812,059: "Radiotelephones Having Contact-Sensitive User Interfaces and Methods of Operating Same"
- US patent 6,291,966: "Method and an Apparatus For Storing and Communicating Battery Information"
- US patent 6,122,263: "Internet Access For Cellular Networks"
- 2:15-cv-287: Ericsson claims Apple infringed the following:
- US essential patent 8,102,805: "HARQ in Spatial Multiplexing MIMO System"
- US essential patent 8,331,476: "Method for Detecting Transmission Mode in a System Using Multiple Antennas"
- US essential patent 6,301,556: "Reducing Sparseness in Coded Speech Signals"
- US essential patent 8,607,130: "Computationally Efficient Convolutional Coding With Rate-Matching"
- US essential patent 8,717,996: "Uplink Scrambling During Random Access"
- US essential patent 8,660,270: "Method and Arrangement in a Telecommunication System"
- US essential patent 8,837,381: "Using an Uplink Grant as Trigger of First or Second Type of CQI Report"
- US essential patent 6,058,359: "Speech Coding Including Soft Adaptability Feature"
"Apple's products benefit from the technology invented and patented by Ericsson's engineers," said Ericsson chief intellectual property officer Kasim Alfalahi.
"Features that consumers now take for granted - like being able to livestream television shows or access their favorite apps from their phone - rely on the technology we have developed."
The two companies have been at a legal impasse for some time. Apple has accused Ericssson of demanding excessive payments for the use of its patents, while Ericsson maintains it is only seeking fair compensation.
Smartflash v Apple
Meanwhile, Texan patent-hoarder Smartflash has filed a lawsuit in the eastern district of Texas, US, against Apple accusing the iTunes goliath of infringing its patents, a day after landing a $500m judgment against the Cupertino moneybags.
The new suit [PDF] alleges that Apple's iTunes infringes seven Smartflash patents relating to the processing of payments and the download of music files from an online service. The specific patents allegedly infringed are:
- US patent 7,334,720: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
- US patent 7,942,317: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
- US patent 8,033,458: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
- US patent 8,061,598: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
- US patent 8,118,221: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
- US patent 8,336,772: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
- US patent 8,794,516: "Data Storage and Access Systems"
"Apple’s acts of infringement have caused damage to the plaintiffs ... as a result of Apple’s wrongful acts," Smartflash's court documents allege. Smartflash wants a judge-granted injunction banning Apple from shipping any more software and/or hardware allegedly infringing Smartflash' patents – plus damages.
Apple refuses to comment to The Register. ®