Apple Faces Another Lawsuit over 5G Patent Licensing – Report

Once again, tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has to face a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Sweden-based networking and telecommunications company Ericsson, Reuters reported. There are a series of issues ongoing between the two companies related to a royalty payment for the use of Ericsson’s 5G wireless patents in iPhones. 

Background 

The two companies negotiated over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecoms patents, which was signed first in 2015, but in vain. As a result, both companies sued each other in the U.S. 

Notably, Apple was sued by Ericsson in October, who accused the company of reducing the royalty rates inappropriately. Meanwhile, the iPhone maker accused the Swedish company of using “strong-arm tactics” to renew patents and filed a lawsuit in December. 

Official Comments 

An Apple spokesman commented on Tuesday, “Ericsson has refused to negotiate fair terms for renewing our patent licensing agreement, and instead has been suing Apple around the world to extort excessive royalties … we are asking the court to help determine a fair price.” 

On the contrary, Ericsson spokesman said, “Since the prior agreement has expired, and we have been unable to reach agreement on the terms and scope of a new licence, Apple is now using our technology without a licence.” 

Wall Street’s Take 

Yesterday, Monness analyst Brian White maintained a Buy rating and a price target of $184 (8.36% upside potential) on Apple. 

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 22 Buys, 4 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Apple stock forecast price of $179.80 implies 5.89% upside potential from current levels. Shares have gained 29.4% over the past year. 

Website Traffic 

TipRanks’ Website Traffic Tool, which uses data from SEMrush Holdings (NYSE: SEMR), the world’s biggest website usage monitoring service, offers insight into Apple’s performance this quarter.  

According to the tool, the Apple website recorded a 17.95% decrease in global visits in December compared to the same period last year. Also, a quarter-to-date comparison showed a fall of 17.75% compared to Q1 2021. Notably, year-to-date website growth, compared to year-to-date website growth in the previous year, came in at 10.73%. 

Additionally, a website traffic uptrend was recorded on the website traffic tool. In fiscal Q1 2022, there was an increase in traffic, on a sequential quarterly basis, to the overall Apple website from unique visitors around the world. This, in turn, indicates the company might report positive first-quarter top-line results as a whole.

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