Friday, November 18, 2022

Ericsson drops two patents from ITC investigation of non-standard-essential patent complaint against Apple--three patents remain at issue in that case

Here's a quick Ericsson v. Apple update. Ericsson yesterday filed an unopposed motion that surfaced today, narrowing one of the three USITC investigations of Ericsson complaints over Apple from five patents-in-suit to three, and from four patent families to three.

The investigation no. is 337-TA-1300. You can find the five original patents-in-suit here. By way of a motion for partial termination of the investigation, Ericsson drops

On November 4, Apple had brought a motion for summary determination of non-infringement and/or no technical domestic industry of the '400 patent (that part of the motion is now moot) and of no technical domestic industry for the '770 patent, which Apple argues Samsung's devices (Samsung is a key Ericsson licensee) don't practice, but Ericson continues to assert claims 1,2, and 7 of that patent.

Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara will preside over an evidentiary hearing (trial) in early January. The most interesting patent-in-suit in that investigation may very well be U.S. Patent No. 7,151,430 on a "method of and inductor layout for reduced VCO [voltage-controlled oscillator] coupling." Erisson is asserting claims 2-3, 5-8, and 13-18 of that patent, and a subset of those claims (all but claims 14 and 18) in the domestic industry context.

In other Ericsson v. Apple news, Apple can again sell 5G devices in Colombia after an appeals court lifted a preliminary injunction that Ericsson was allowed to enforce for about four months. Most likely, the next Ericsson v. Apple injunction will come down in Germany (in the first half of next year), be it in Mannheim--where a first trial was held earlier this month--or in Munich, where Ericsson is already on the winning track with respect to two patents. However, the last patent spat between those parties led to a settlement at roughly the stage at which the current dispute is as we speak, so it remains to be seen how many decisions will actually have to be handed down.