Apple and Swedish wireless technology giant Ericsson are still fighting over royalties and patents.
On Tuesday, Apple filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for Northern California, saying that Ericsson is demanding excessive royalties for its patents and claiming that Ericsson’s patents are not “essential” for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communication standard the Cupertino company uses in its smartphones and tablets. Then on Wednesday, Ericsson fired back, asking a federal court for a verdict on whether or not its fees are fair.
A popular phone maker in the 1990s, Ericsson sold its mobile-phone business to Sony in February 2012, five years after Apple introduced the first iPhone. Apple’s smartphones and tablets have long won users over, but the iPhone maker is saying Ericsson is still trying to extract as much (unwarranted) value from its portfolio of patents as it can. “Ericsson seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations, which resulted from years of hard work by Apple engineers and designers and billions of dollars of Apple research and development—and which have nothing to do with Ericsson’s patents,” Apple said in its complaint.
In the world of tech, patent suits are commonplace, as companies jostle one another in an effort to push the limits of innovation—and make boatloads of money in the process. Recently, the patent wars have cooled. Notably, controversial consortium Rockstar—which is made up of Apple, Microsoft, and other big tech companies—recently agreed to sell 4,000 patents that were part of some high-profile lawsuits, and Apple and Samsung have settled some of their patent litigation. But that doesn’t mean the patent wars are over.