Apple and Ericsson's massive patent dispute is going to trial next year

5g Iphone
5g Iphone (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple and Ericsson are having a major legal battle over patents.
  • A lawsuit filed by Ericsson will now call for a jury trial in June of 2023.
  • Ericsson and Apple have failed to reach a renewed agreement regarding the licensing of mobile radio technology patents that power 3G, 4G, and 5G, in the iPhone.

Apple and Ericsson are going to trial over a major patent dispute filed by the Swedish company, a judge has ordered.

In a court order Tuesday first noted by Foss Patents a judge ordered that Apple and Ericsson would have to hash its legal dispute out in front of a jury in June of 2023. In the run-up to the case, both parties will be required to follow the usual court steps of finding witnesses, evidence, and potential other parties who may be involved.

Ericsson first filed its suit against Apple in October after the two failed to reach a new licensing agreement over radio patents essential to connectivity on devices like Apple's iPhone 13. 5G might have been one of the best iPhone features added to the flagship smartphone in recent years, but the technology doesn't belong to Apple, and the company relies on using patents from companies like Ericsson just like any other smartphone maker. A deal struck in 2015 between the two covered the licensing of 2G, 3G, and 4G tech, but expired last year. Since then, the two have failed to reach an agreement about licensing that would cover 5G as well.

Because no licensing deal has been struck, a series of suits and countersuits have been filed by both companies, both alleging that each is wrongfully infringing patents owned by the other.

Ericsson is not seeking a ban on any devices or any kind of sanctions against Apple in this particular case, simply a court ruling as to how much Apple should pay the company for using its technology. The cost is usually calculated on a 'per-device' basis, and a figure floated last year between the two was around $5 per unit.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9