Apple pays Ericsson to settle patent dispute

The patent dispute between Apple and Ericsson that has been running for the whole of 2015 has apparently been settled in Ericsson’s favour, with Apple agreeing to pay a lump sum and ongoing royalties.

Back in January Apple initiated this litigation, claiming Ericsson was charging too much for some LTE patents, while at the same time questioning their validity in the first place. Ericsson countered that the patents flagged up by Apple were just a small fraction of all the ones it owes royalties on. In the inevitable counter-action Ericsson asked the courts to adjudicate on whether its demands are in line with its FRAND commitments.

Four months later the only progress has been to the bank balances of a few lawyers, so Ericsson raised the stakes by starting litigation in the UK, German and the Netherlands too. Now, a further seven months later, things have been resolved.

The settlement includes a cross-licensing agreement across a bunch of mobile standards and includes releases that resolve all pending patent-infringement litigation between the companies. The precise details of the settlement haven’t been revealed but Apple will be coughing up an initial payments to Ericsson as well as ongoing royalties. Ericsson seems happy with the result and Bloomberg reports a 5% jump in Ericsson shares in contrast to a 3% fall for Apple.

 “We are pleased with this new agreement with Apple, which clears 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,” said Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson.

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