Apple LTE Phil Schiller

In response to Apple taking Ericsson to court over wireless patent licensing, the Swedish telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit in Texas that seeks the court to determine whether its licensing offer to Apple is fair. Ericsson told the court that it has been attempting to reach a new licensing agreement with Apple for over two years, but negotiations have failed to result in a deal. The patents in question are related to wireless LTE technologies that Apple uses in products like the iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s initial lawsuit against Ericsson in a Northern California district court calls for the LTE-related patents to be considered non-essential, allowing for the iPhone maker to continue using the wireless technologies in its products without further payment. If the court finds the patents to be essential, Apple requests that Ericsson only collect royalties based on the cost of the processors using the licensed technology, not the full price of the product being sold.

“We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to standards essential patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents so, as a last resort, we are asking the courts for help,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ericsson, the world’s largest provider of mobile network equipment, makes a significant portion of its revenues through licensing its exhaustive patent portfolio to companies like Apple. The company holds over 35,000 patents related to 2G, 3G and 4G wireless technologies. Last year, Samsung struck a deal with Ericsson that saw it pay $650 million and agree to further royalties for years to follow ending a similar licensing dispute.

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