Apple Pays Ericsson For (Patent) Peace

Christmas came early for Swedish mobile telecom firm Ericsson, as it has signed a patent license deal with Apple after a settlement that settled one of mobile-tech’s longer standing legal disputes.

At issues in the year’s long dispute was the rightful ownership of technology that smartphone and tablets use to connect to the Web. In a filing from January almost a year ago, Ericsson complained that Apple’s license to use the tech had expired, and that years of negotiations had yielded no new deal.

Apple offered no immediate comment on the ruling, except to point at a previous statement about its respect for IP laws.

The settlement — the exact terms of which have not been disclosed of yet — will have a big effect on Ericsson’s bottom line, pushing its estimated annual revenue for 2016 from ~$1.45 billion to the $1.52-$1.64 billion range. UBS analysts have noted their belief that the deal meant a catch-up payment of 3.6 billion crowns for 2015, including a one-off sum of 0.5 billion covering items such as legal fees.

“It means we can continue to work with Apple in areas such as 5G radio network and optimization of the network,” but declined to provide further financial details, said Ericsson Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi told Reuters.

Ericsson’s deal with Apple is similar to a January 2014 patent agreement with Samsung, which also followed a legal dispute.


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