A patent dispute between Ericsson and Apple, which began in January, has now come to an end. The two companies have been embroiled in a legal dispute around Ericsson's patents, but have now come to an agreement that will see Apple pay Ericsson royalties for the next seven years.
It's unclear exactly how much the deal, which includes a one-off lump sum from Apple, will net Ericsson, but given Apple's size in the phone market, it's likely to be significant.
Ericsson holds a lot of patents around wireless technology, and as such as licence agreements with a lot of major firms. Early in 2015, it launched legal action in several countries for payment infringement – among them Apple, following the expiration of their existing deal at the start of the year.
Among the patents Ericsson holds are for technologies underpinning 2G and 4G – technology used in the likes of iPhones and iPads. So, the key question around the legal action was whether Ericsson had patents on technology essential for the iPhone – and, if so, how much Apple should pay.
Now an agreement has been reached, the lawsuit has been dropped.
“We are pleased with this new agreement with Apple, which clears the way for both companies to continue to focus on bringing new technology to the global market, and opens up for more joint business opportunities in the future,” said chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson Kasim Alfalahi.
Moreover, now the companies have reached an agreement, they will actually be working on new projects together. These include developing 5G standards, as well as optimising existing wireless networks.
As well as battling patent infringements, Apple has been as busy as ever working on new designs. Just a few months ago, it released the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus, which includes the much-anticipated 3D Touch feature. This reacts to pressure, which gives you more control over what you want your phone to do with a single tap.