Ericsson has brought its fight with Apple over licensing to Europe, launching new lawsuits in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
The two companies are locked in battle in the US, where Ericsson is seeking to block the sale of Apple’s iPhone and iPad over alleged patent infringement after licensing agreements expired.
The Swedish telecoms pioneer said it had offered to enter into arbitration with Apple to reach a global licensing agreement for its patents, but that offer had now expired.
“Apple continues to profit from Ericsson’s technology without having a valid licence in place,” said Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer for Ericsson.
“Our technology is used in many features and functionalities of today’s communication devices. We are confident the courts in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands will be able to help us resolve this matter in a fair manner.”
The new and existing lawsuits relate to 2G, 3G and 4G patents, as well as other wireless communications systems, TV streaming and access to apps on phones.
The spat over patents arose when Apple’s licence agreement with Ericsson expired in mid-January. Renewal talks stalled leading to lawsuits from both companies.
Analysts have predicted it could cost Apple between $250m and $750m annually should the courts side with Ericsson over whether Ericsson’s patent royalty demands were fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory given the fundamental nature of the technology for mobile devices.
Ericsson’s 35,000-plus intellectual property portfolio was estimated to be worth $1.18bn in 2014. The company has over 100 patent licensing agreements with mobile technology companies and is the largest manufacturer of network equipment.
Last year, Samsung agreed to pay Ericsson $650m along with years of royalties to end a licence dispute.
Apple declined to comment.
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