Apple files Ericsson ITC complaint, seeks U.S. import ban on some products

Iphone 12 5g
Iphone 12 5g (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple was sued by Ericsson earlier this week.
  • The company claimed Apple was infringing on its 2G, 3G, and 4G patents after a 2015 licensing deal between the two expired.
  • Apple is now countersuing Ericsson over different patents and is seeking an import ban on some of its products.

Just days after Ericsson filed two lawsuits against Apple pertaining to the use of 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless technology, Apple has hit back with an ITC complaint against the company alleging a similar infringement.

First noted by FOSS Patents, counsel for Apple has filed a complaint to the US International Trade Commission. The document states:

Respondents recently filed a series of lawsuits and legal actions around the world,2 despite the pending Apple Inc. v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, No. 2:21-cv-00460-JRG 2 2 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 17, 2021) matter that provides a global resolution of the parties' dispute, which apple was under the impression that Ericsson accepted. Respondents' actions in the United States and around the world demonstrate that they do not want a Court setting fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory ("FRAND") terms for their patents. By way of such actions, Respondents are improperly using their purported standard essential patents ("SEPs") and non-standard essential patents ("NEPs") as ammunition through injunctions to coerce Apple to take an unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory license to their purported SEPs. To the extent Respondents are willing to withdraw all of their lawsuits and legal actions, Apple is willing to do the same. However, if Respondents are not willing to agree to having the Texas court determine the FRAND terms for a cross license, Apple is forced to respond to Respondents'infringement of Apple's patents.

As noted by Florian Mueller at FOSS, Apple asserts that Ericsson infringes on three patents owned by Apple pertaining to mmWave technology used to power 5G in devices like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, Apple's best iPhones. Apple says that Ericsson uses thse patents in mmWave antenna radio units and radio baseband units and their respective components. In the complaint, Apple asks for an immediate investigation into this unlawful importation and a ban on any infringing products

As the above paragraph notes, Apple says that it is willing to withdraw its lawsuits (presumably pending) and legal actions if Ericsson does the same. Earlier this week Ericsson filed two lawsuits against the company after a 2015 licensing deal ended. The company now says that Apple is illegally using its IP relating to mobile connectivity and wants compensation in return.

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