The mobile systems heavyweight Ericsson plans to escalate its patent licensing case against Apple with a slew of federal lawsuits and US International Trade Commission complaints. As part of the case, Ericsson is requesting both damages and injunctions against Apple’s devices. According to the Swedish telecom giant, many of the patents-in-suit are deemed standard essential intellectual property relating to 2G, 3G and 4G LTE wireless network technology while others are “critical” to certain aspects of Apple’s products.

Ericsson’s chief intellectual property officer, Kasim Alfalahi, said Apple device features such as live-streaming and app functions rely on patented Ericsson technology. In addition to the standard essential patents, the company clams that Apple is in infringement of non-essential inventions related to semiconductor component design, user interface software, location services and applications. In this particular case, Apple’s iOS operating system is also a target.

Up until January, Apple was paying Ericsson for a global license covering mobile technology that was signed for in 2008 but Apple refused to resign the contract after it expired last month. Ericsson asserts that the new license was offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, saying it made numerous attempts to find a fair solution but Apple continued to refuse. For its part, Apple ended up filing a lawsuit against Ericsson for charging excessive royalty rates for 4G LTE technology, arguing the Swedish firm’s intellectual property is non-essential. After Apple had filed the suit against Ericsson, the Swedish firm quickly retaliated with its own complaint in Texas.

As of right now, the specifics of Ericsson’s licensing terms continue to remain unknown but the number could be substantial considering that Apple was paying out royalties as a percentage of total device cost. According to the folks over at Bloomberg, only one of Ericsson’s new Texas lawsuits assert essential patents while that particular case and another overlap with ITC complaints. What this means is that the two suits are likely to be put on ice while the commission conducts its inquiry.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens going forward as Apple finds itself amidst another legal issue.

Source: Bloomberg