Apple accused of bad faith in Ericsson 5G patent royalty talks

Ericsson filed a lawsuit Monday against Apple which accuses the company of engaging in unfair tactics to avoid paying royalties for the use of baseline 5G telecommunications technology.

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Susan Decker for Bloomberg News:

Ericsson says it’s trying to renegotiate a license with Apple and is already encountering obstacles. It wants a federal judge to rule that Ericsson’s offer complies with requirements that royalty demands be fair and reasonable.

“Despite receiving substantial revenues from its sales of iPhones and other cellular devices, Apple has historically resisted licensing overtures by Ericsson, and other essential patent holders, as part of a global strategy to devalue standard essential patents and reduce Apple’s royalty payments,” Ericsson said in the complaint, filed in federal court in Marshall, Texas.

The dispute is over how much Apple should pay Ericsson for 5G connectivity and networking technology developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Companies that collaborate to ensure devices are interoperable gain the advantage of ensuring that their inventions are included in any industry standard. As a result, they pledge to license any relevant patents on “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory,” or FRAND, terms, a phrase that’s never been clearly defined and has led to lawsuits and regulatory investigations worldwide.

MacDailyNews Take: Eventually a number will be agreed upon, but that number should be fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory!

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