In one to file under “N” for “Never happening,” mobile phone company Ericsson has filed seven new lawsuits asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block Apple products, such as the iPhone, from selling in the United States.
The lawsuits allege that Apple is infringing on up to 41 patents, related to user interfaces, battery saving, and operating systems. Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson’s chief intellectual property officer, claims that the company has offered Apple a license for the technology, but has been turned down.
Apple had previously paid royalties to Ericsson, although the license expired in mid-January this year. After renewal talks failed, both companies sued one another, with the basic premise being whether Ericsson’s royalty demands are fair and reasonable.
Apple has argued that Ericsson “seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations” and accused the company of engaging in “abusive licensing practices.”
The new suits filed against Apple are designed to pile on the pressure, since the trade commission moves faster than district courts, while also having the power to block products from entering the United States: an important power, given that the majority of Apple’s devices are manufactured overseas.
If only Ericsson had taken the iPhone a bit more seriously when it was announced back in 2007…