A Colombian court has granted Ericsson a preliminary injunction against Apple, preventing the company and its subsidiaries and partners from importing, marketing, and even advertising certain iPhones and iPads with 5G connectivity.
The first sales and import restrictions are already in effect. Less than six months after the current wave of Ericsson v. Apple patent infringement cases began. Apple is currently unable to sell or import 5G iPhones and iPads into Colombia. While Apple claims there is no 5G network accessible in Colombia.
This is Ericsson’s first significant victory since the two companies renewed legal battles earlier this year. The dispute concerns licensing payments for certain 5G Standard-Essential Patents (SEP). Apple acknowledges that the patents are genuine, but believes Ericsson is charging too much for them.
The preliminary injunction prohibits Apple from importing, selling, commercializing, or advertising products infringing on that patent. To ensure compliance, Apple must “warn and interact with” Colombian businesses, retailers, owners of social media platforms, mass media, and e-commerce platforms. Various iPhone 12 and 13 models, as well as newer iPads, are impacted. The preliminary injunction also compels Colombia’s customs body, the Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales (DIAN). To prevent the entry of infringing Apple products into Colombia.
Furthermore, Judge Ronald Neil Orozco Gómez ruled that Apple cannot seek or implement an antisuit injunction from a foreign nation that would block or limit Ericsson’s enforcement of the Colombian preliminary injunction. This is known as an anti-anti suit injunction. This stops Apple from attempting to persuade Ericsson to lift the import and sales prohibition in Colombia through a court in another country. (e.g. by asking a court in the US to penalize Ericsson’s US operations).
Apple’s lawyers have filed a counter-suit in the Eastern District of Texas. Apple filed an emergency motion with the court on Friday, claiming that the Colombian injunction provides Ericsson with “economic and logistical leverage […] to pressure Apple to abandon this litigation and capitulate to Ericsson’s [royalty] demand,” and requesting that Chief Judge Rodney S. Gilstrap rule as soon as possible that Ericsson must. “indemnify Apple from any fines, fees, penalties, and costs it incurs as a result of the Colombian injunction.”