It regards Apple’s use of an LTE patent for which it had a licensing agreement with Ericsson, up until earlier this year. When the agreement expired, Apple complained that Ericsson asked for too much money for the patent during re-negotiations and sued Ericsson. Ericsson counter-sued saying Apple infringed on the patents and that it had given the Cupertino-based company a fair price.
It’s estimated Ericsson offered a licensing deal between $250 million and $750 million per year.
Given the lengthy process of patent courts, companies have been choosing to launch complaints to the ITC in hopes of getting products stopped from importing, and thus being sold, in the US. This is in hopes companies will be forced to settle.
One of Ericsson’s ITC complaints 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.”
If the ITC was to find Apple guilty of infringement, it could bar the iPhone from being sold in the US. The ITC stresses the launch of an investigation isn’t an indication of infringement.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
Source: PC World