Apple swallows 7 year mobile patent payments deal from Ericsson

One lump sum or ongoing royalties, vicar? Both!

Apple will pay Ericsson to use patented networking technologies employed by its iPhones and iPads, ending a year-long spat between the pair.

The fruity firm will cough up one lump sum royalty payment to the Swedish telecoms equipment giant, followed by on-going royalties for seven years under an agreement announced on Monday.

No public figure was put on how much Apple will actually hand over, but Ericsson estimated that its IP royalties business would make SKr 13-14bn (£1bn, or about $1.5bn) versus SKr 9.9bn (£776m, $1.15bn) in 2014.

The agreement closes all patent infringement litigation between the two companies. It also closes an investigation working its way thought the US International Trade Commission.

Ericsson’s cash pie is garnished with the standard cross-licensing agreements and language. For example, the settlement includes an agreement to cross-license GSM, UMTS and LTE technologies. The pair will collaborate in “multiple technology areas” including 5G development, video network traffic management and wireless network optimization.

Ericsson filed suit against Apple in the UK, the US, Germany and the Netherlands over Apple’s use in its devices of 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE standards, and of semi conductor components and non-cellular wireless communications. The firm reckoned it had tried to reach an agreement with Apple for up to two years.

Ericsson claims to have one of the industry’s strongest portfolios of intellectual property, with 35,000 patents granted worldwide. The firm had signed more than 100 patent licensing deals before firing off its lawsuits.

Samsung settled a similar action brought by Ericsson last year that saw the consumer giant fork over SKr3.3bn (£258m, $385m).

Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson's chief intellectual property officer, said in a statement the agreement with Apple cleared 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.” ®

Other stories you might like

  • Workers win vote to form first-ever US Apple Store union
    Results set to be ratified by labor board by end of the week

    Workers at an Apple Store in Towson, Maryland have voted to form a union, making them the first of the iGiant's retail staff to do so in the United States.

    Out of 110 eligible voters, 65 employees voted in support of unionization versus 33 who voted against it. The organizing committee, known as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), has now filed to certify the results with America's National Labor Relations Board. Members joining this first-ever US Apple Store union will be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

    "I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," IAM's international president Robert Martinez Jr said in a statement on Saturday. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."

    Continue reading
  • We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to
    M2 chip teased plus MacBooks, iOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9 and more

    WWDC Apple opened its 33rd annual Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday with a preview of upcoming hardware and planned changes in its mobile, desktop, and wrist accessory operating systems.

    The confab consists primarily of streamed video, as it did in 2020 and 2021, though there is a limited in-person component for the favored few. Apart from the preview of Apple's homegrown Arm-compatible M2 chip – coming next month in a redesigned MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro – there was not much meaningful innovation. The M2 Air has a full-size touch ID button, apparently.

    Apple's software-oriented enhancements consist mainly of worthy but not particularly thrilling interface and workflow improvements, alongside a handful of useful APIs and personalization capabilities. Company video performers made no mention of Apple's anticipated AR/VR headset.

    Continue reading
  • UK competition watchdog seeks to make mobile browsers, cloud gaming and payments more competitive
    Investigation could help end WebKit monoculture on iOS devices

    The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday said it intends to launch an investigation of Apple's and Google's market power with respect to mobile browsers and cloud gaming, and to take enforcement action against Google for its app store payment practices.

    "When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards," said Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice."

    The decision to open a formal investigation follows the CMA's year-long study of the mobile ecosystem. The competition watchdog's findings have been published in a report that concludes Apple and Google have a duopoly that limits competition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022