Apple’s 5G patent trial battle versus Ericsson will not begin until June 2023. The order to start the trial in June 2023 is accompanied by an order for the companies’ attorneys to have a scheduling conference on March 16.
The filing, first noted on Wednesday morning by Foss Patents, is a later date than was desired by Apple, while Ericsson was angling for a later date.
While we don’t know if there are ongoing settlement talks going on, the possibility exists that the trial could be canceled if the two firms can reach a settlement.
The two companies have been engaged in a patent licensing dispute for years. Apple and Ericsson filed lawsuits against each other back in 2015, which led Ericsson to push for a ban on iPhone sales in the United States.
The two firms reached a December 2015 agreement over licensing 2G, 3G, and 4G technology. However, that agreement did not include 5G technology.
The battle renewed in October 2021, when Ericsson reached out to Apple, wanting to begin negotiations for a cross-licensing arrangement over 5G tech. Ericsson had announced its 5G royalty rates three years previously. The company’s initial complaint claimed Apple integrated Ericsson’s solutions with knowledge of those rates.
Ericsson’s two lawsuits cover a total of 12 separate patents.
While the parties met in September 2021 to discuss the information Ericsson had supplied demonstrating the strength of its SEPs, it was made clear that “there is a dispute between Apple and Ericsson as to the essentiality, and value, of Ericsson’s essential patent portfolio.”
In December 2021, Apple sued Ericsson, saying the former displayed “strong-arm tactics” in patent enforcement of what Apple says should be patents licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Apple brought two motions in December 2021.
In mid-January 2022, Ericsson sued Apple for infringement of 12 5G patents. Apple countersued Ericsson as a response to Ericsson’s lawsuits over Apple’s use of its 5G patents. Apple’s countersuit seeks to get a U.S. import ban on the Swedish firm’s mobile base station.