Tag: mobile technology patents

Apple and Ericsson end mobile technology war to propel devices forward

The two tech giants have agreed to stop their patent battles so they can create a new smartphone generation together.

Apple Inc and Ericsson AB, the Swedish telecom firm have come to an agreement to settle over alleged patent infringements, so that they can move forward together in improving mobile technology.

This is meant to lay the foundation for the next generation of smartphones that will be considerably faster.

Ericsson is the largest manufacturer of wireless equipment in the world. By the time of the writing of this article, it had not disclosed all the terms of the agreement that was reached between itself and Apple. However, it did state that the settlement includes a type of cross-license that includes the patents owned by both Ericsson and Apple, including the LTE, UMTS and GSM standards used in mobile technology such as smartphones.

Ericsson came to a similar form of mobile technology settlement with Samsung in 2014.

Mobile Technology - Working TogetherApple, the second largest smartphone maker in the world after Samsung, holds onto a worldwide market share of 13 percent, according to data from Gartner. It will be making an opening payment to Ericsson as a part of the agreement and this amount will be followed by additional payments in the form of royalties.

That said, the specifics of the financial side of the agreement were not revealed by either company. Still, this was seen as highly appealing to investors, who initially cause the price of Ericsson shares to spike by 5 percent.

The disputes in question between Ericsson and Sony were involving 41 separate patents. They were initially filed by Ericsson in February with regards to some of the mobile technology that was used in both iPads and iPhones. This occurred following Apple’s choice to decline a prior licensing agreement it had been maintaining with Ericsson, as Apple claimed that too much money was being asked for the renewal. This new agreement has set all the patent litigation aside. This type of legal battle is highly common in the mobile tech world as it is estimated that any given smartphone has around 250,000 patents.

An FTC and Google agreement opens up mobile industry market

Google mobile industryInternet giant Google has settled with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in regards to its antitrust lawsuit that allows smaller players in the mobile industry access to mobile patents. The move is said to lower the amount of suits related to patent holders.

Google’s hold on patents

Philip Solis, of ABI Research in Oyster Bay, NY, stated that concerns have been raised about Google buying ‘standard essential patents’ from Motorola, essentially giving Google the ability to greatly suppress smaller competition. This settlement states what Google has said all along – that they would not use the patents in such a manner.

“It could start a trend around standard essential patents not being used for offensive purposes,” Solis said. “That is a good thing because it means potentially less litigation.” He goes on to say that bigger companies are not effected by having to work around patents in the mobile industry, but smaller companies lack the resources to do so.

What it means for competitors

Smart phones, gaming consoles, tablets, and even online search advertising are all affected in this settlement. Google will allow competition to license patents on what are called critical standardized technologies for all of the above. When Google acquired Motorola Mobility, it gained hundreds of different patents. Many of these are for most basic functions like device internet connectivity.

Google agrees to allow use of standard patents and thus the number of patent-related lawsuits should drop. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that Google has made a step that allows consumers to enjoy the benefits of competition in the online marketplace as well through the gadgets that they buy.

“This doesn’t remove the patents issue in general,” Solis said. Overall, he believes that this agreement opens up markets in both advertising and the mobile device market. Google has agreed not to use patents to delay other companies from releasing new products in a timely manner. It is not perfect, however.

Online Advertising

Google is known as an online giant in search and also in search related advertising. As part of this agreement, Google will give those that advertise online more flexibility to use their program as well as the advertising programs of their competitors. The company also promises that any site can remain excluded from Google vertical search results while still remaining visible under their standard search.