Apple sued in the UK over use of critical iPhone feature

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

What you need to know

  • Ericsson is waging a legal war against Apple.
  • The company has filed suit in the UK over its use of 5G patents.
  • It's the latest arena in an ongoing dispute about the technology.

Ericsson has filed yet more lawsuits against Apple over the use of 5G patents, this time in the UK.

As reported by patent litigation expert Florian Mueller on Monday:

UK court records show a couple of Ericsson v. Apple filings: on June 6, Ericsson--represented by the law firm of Taylor Wessing, which has offices in numerous European countries (and beyond Europe)--filed with the High Court of Justice for England & Wales (still frequently referred to as the "EWHC")

The dispute pertains to the use of patents that cover 5G connectivity in devices like Apple's iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. 5G has been one of the best iPhone upgrades in recent years, allowing faster browsing, downloads, and data consumption for users in covered areas. However, Apple gets its 5G tech from patents owned by Ericsson. Until recently, Apple had a licensing deal over 3G and 4G with the company, however when this expired the company failed to reach a deal on a fresh licensing agreement that included 5G.

Ericsson has now filed suit in six different locations, with the battle in the U.S. at least headed for trial next year. Ericsson isn't seeking any kind of ban or injunction against Apple, so there is no danger that Apple might be forced to stop selling any of its products, or any impending impact on consumers or indeed the future release of the iPhone 14. However, a favorable outcome for Ericsson could see the company paid a massive sum for the licensing, a figure floated between the two last year was around $5 per unit, a massive sum when you consider how many 5G capable iPhones Apple is now shipping each year.

Apple is expected to bring some major upgrades to the iPhone 14 later this year, including a 48MP camera, an upgraded processor to the 'Pro' models, and a new regular 'Max' version of its iPhone to replace the ailing 'mini' model in its lineup. Both the Max and Pro Max models of the phone are thought to be dealing with supply constraints and pressures that could see both limited in availability at launch.

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