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Court sets date for Apple countersuit against Ericsson, USITC investigating

5G on iPhone

The U.S. International Trade Commission has instituted probes into some of Ericsson's complaints against Apple while the landmark patent battle between the two companies continue.

According to FOSS Patents, the USITC has instituted investigations of Ericsson's trio of ITC import ban complaints. In all three cases, the Commission has opted to delegate the creation of a factual record on any statuary public interest issues to the Administrative Law Judge.

It's like that the USITC will also soon investigate Apple's counterclaims against Ericsson.

Meanwhile, Apple has issued a pair of sur-replies in the patent battle with Ericsson. Earlier in February, a U.S. District Court set the trial date for the ongoing patent dispute for June 2023.

One of the replies was in opposition to Ericsson's motion to dismiss Apple's fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) case, while the other opposed Ericsson's motion to amend its October 2021 FRAND complaint with additional allegations relating to Apple's behavior.

The Apple v. Ericsson FRAND countersuit is also slated to begin in July, about a month after the Ericsson v. Apple trial is set to begin.

Both companies have been in a patent licensing dustup for years. Back in 2015, Apple and Ericsson both sued each other. Eventually, they reached an agreement in December 2015 that included a licensing deal that remained in effect until the end of 2021.

The saga between the two firms restarted in October 2021 when Ericsson filed a lawsuit against Apple. Later, in December 2021, Apple separately sued Ericsson and alleged that the patent was using "strong-arm tactics" in patent negotiations.

In January 2022, Ericsson sued Apple for infringement of 12 5G patents. Shortly afterwards, Apple countersued and sought a U.S. import band on mobile basestations for infringing on Apple's own mmWave 5G patents.

Meanwhile, the dispute between the two firms has also escalated into Europe. Those trials are likely to have wrapped up in their entirety before the US cases are heard.