Apple is now barred from importing and selling iPhone 12 and 13 in Colombia

Tamsin Rodriguez11 July 2022Last Update : 1 month ago
Apple is now barred from importing and selling iPhone 12 and 13 in Colombia

A court in Bogota, Colombia, has given Ericsson a temporary ban on Apple, which prevents Cupertino and its subsidiaries and partners from importing, selling and even advertising certain iPhones and iPads with 5G connectivity.

This is the first major victory for Ericsson, after it and Apple renewed legal hostilities earlier this year. The argument is about the license fees for certain standard essential patents (SEP) related to 5G. Apple accepts that the patents are valid, but they believe that Ericsson is taking too much for them.

This preliminary injunction (which Apple of course appeals) means that sales of the iPhone 12 and 13 series as well as newer iPads with 5G must be stopped in Colombia. The judge also informed the local customs authority to block imports of the same products, plus that Apple is required to contact online and offline stores and social media platforms to stop selling and advertising the iPhones and iPads already in stock.

The Colombian court also issued an “anti-lawsuit ban”. In plain English, this prevents Apple from trying to use a court in another country to pressure Ericsson to lift the import and sales ban in Colombia (for example, by asking a court in the United States to punish Ericsson’s US activities).

Instead, Apple’s lawyers are seeking “damages” in the Eastern District of Texas and are asking Chief Justice Rodney S. Gilstrap to decide that Apple should indemnify Apple for any fees, fines, penalties and costs that may arise as a result of the ban. Colombian court.

An English translation of part of the judge's ruling in Colombia

An English translation of part of the judge’s ruling in Colombia

Interestingly, Apple tried to make the argument that there are currently no 5G networks available to consumers in Colombia and that “an injunction on an alleged 5G essential method patent cannot be enforced until a 5G network is activated in Colombia. . ” However, the Colombian judge did not buy it, as the phones and tablets may infringe the patent during trials with local 5G networks, and as soon as a local operator launches its next-generation network. Trials started in 2020, the first 5G network in Colombia is expected to go live by the end of this year, so that is not an unreasonable verdict.

Anyway, Colombia is hardly a big market for Apple. But if this is just the first domino to fall, Apple could be in trouble and it will have to pay Ericsson’s fee for the patents. Apparently Apple is paying less than $ 15 SEP royalties pr. phone, worth about 2% of the selling price of a new iPhone.

If you are interested in the legal details, follow the Source to link FOSS patents. Author Florian Mueller also has one curious writing about how Apple is hypocritical and blames Ericsson for things they do themselves (for example, it charges app developers a 15-30% fee for each app sold in the App Store).

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