Apple’s 5G iPhones and iPads have been banned in Colombia after the Court granted Ericsson a rare Anti-Antisuit Injunction+
It’s being reported that less than six months after the current wave of Ericsson v. Apple patent infringement actions started, the first sales and import ban is already being enforced: Apple is currently unable to sell 5G iPhones and iPads in Colombia, or import them into the South American country, according to Germany’s FOSS Patents.
a court in the Colombian capital of Bogotá--found Apple's 5G iPhones and iPads to infringe claim 13 of Colombian patent no. NC2019/0003681, which has been declared essential to the 5G standard and was granted to Ericsson in 2019 an will remain valid until December 2037.
The preliminary injunction bars Apple from the import, sale, commercialization, and advertisement of products infringing that patent. Under the order, Apple must "warn and communicate with" shops, retailers, owners of social media platforms, mass media, and e-commerce platforms within the territory of Colombia in order to ensure compliance. The affected devices are various iPhone 12 and 13 models, as well as newer iPads.
In addition, Judge Ronald Neil Orozco Gómez decided that Apple must not seek or enforce an antisuit injunction from foreign country that prevent or restrict Ericsson's enforcement of the Colombian preliminary injunction. This kind of court order is called an anti-antisuit injunction: an injunction against an (actual or--as in this case--potential) antisuit injunction.
The first court in the world to grant an anti-antisuit injunction in a standard-essential patent (SEP) case was the Munich I Regional Court: Nokia v. Continental, 2019.
Apple's hands are tied now because of the anti-antisuit injunction: seeking an antisuit injunction against Ericsson to thwart the enforcement of that Colombian patent would be a flagrant violation of the Colombian anti-antisuit injunction, with potentially grave consequences for its Colombian subsidiary and its executives.
So, instead of an antisuit injunction, Apple's lawyers are now seeking antisuit damages in the Eastern District of Texas. On Friday, Apple brought an emergency motion with the court, saying that the Colombian inunction gives Ericsson "economic and logistical leverage [...] to pressure Apple to abandon this litigation and capitulate to Ericsson’s [royalty] demand," and asks Chief Judge Rodney S. Gilstrap to decide as swiftly as possible that Ericsson must "indemnify Apple from any fines, fees, penalties, and costs it incurs as a result of the Colombian injunction."
Read the full report by FOSS Patent’s Florian Mueller for greater details and actual court documents to review. It should also be noted that FOSS Patents filed a follow-up report on this case this morning that you could review here.
In December 2021 Patently Apple posted a report about Apple Suing Ericsson Over ‘Strong-Arm’ Patent-Licensing Demands. Apple has been in a battle with Ericsson for some time. We also covered a legal battle that surfaced in early 2015.