US trade body to investigate Apple after Ericsson complaints

The case is part of a growing spat between the two companies on LTE patents

The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to investigate Apple after two complaints from Ericsson that the iPhone maker violated its patents.

The companies have been fighting since the start of the year when a license agreement covering Apple's use of Ericsson patents on LTE high-speed wireless technology expired. Apple complained that Ericsson had asked too much money for the patents during negotiations.

Apple sued Ericsson in January, arguing the patents are not essential for LTE technology and that the price was excessive. Ericsson counter-sued two days later, alleging Apple had infringed the patents and that the price was fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory -- the requirement for patents used in industry standards.

Patent lawsuits can be complex and often take years to go through the U.S. courts, leaving lawyers to argue about products that have become obsolete.

So companies lately have been turning more often to the ITC, which acts faster and can ban products from being imported to the U.S. if they find there is a likelihood of infringement. An import ban has an immediate effect on sales and can pressure a defendant into settling.

One of Ericsson's ITC suits involves "Apple iPhones, iPads, and other cellular-enabled products that use the 2G GSM and 4G LTE telecommunications standards." The other covers "smartphones, tablet computers, digital media players, and smartwatches."

The launch of an investigation by the ITC isn't an indication of infringement.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ApplelegalEricssonCivil lawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?