Apple and Ericsson are halting their patent war, which should facilitate innovation for the two giants.
Apple managed to put an end to another big battle over wireless patents. The iPhone maker and iPhone have signed an agreement coming put an end to the long legal disputeincluding relating to civil lawsuits and a complaint and US International Trade Commission. While exact terms have not been disclosed, the multi-year agreement includes shared licensing of key cellular technologies as well as other patent usage rights.
Apple and Ericsson call a truce in their patent war
Tech giants have a long history of cellular technologies. Apple had sued Ericsson in justice in 2015 to obtain more favorable terms for patents on the LT, but Ericsson had responded with another lawsuit, claiming that theiPhone and the iPad infringed many of his patent ideas. The two had then signed a peace for seven years. But as that deal came to an end, the animosity returned to the forefront. Ericsson had sued Apple in October 2021 after the Cupertino company had tried to lower commissions, Apple had counterattacked in December of this year, arguing that Ericsson was using unfair tactics for this renewal. Ericsson had once again filed a complaint in January, this time concerning 5G licenses.
What should facilitate innovation at the two giants
Announcing the deal, Ericsson licensing director Christina Petersson said the ceasefire will allow the two companies to “focus on building better technologies” for the world. Ericsson holds one of the largest wireless patent portfolios in the world, and said that this agreement with Apple will help improve its licensing revenue for the last quarter, to high of around $532 million, minimum.
The timing is significant. Apple is still developing its own 5G modems for the iPhone, this to replace the chips of Qualcomm, after buying the majority of Intel’s modem business and poaching a number of executives working at Qualcomm. This truce with Ericsson could pave the way for these modems according to Apple by reducing the risk of being sued once these new components are developed. And time could run out. Of the rumors have been circulating for some time, Apple could use these own modems as soon as 2023.