Apple 5G devices, the iPhone and iPad, have been banned from sale and import in Colombia. This comes after a court ruling that Apple’s products infringe a patent by Ericsson. Juzgado 042 Civil del Circuito de Bogota in Colombia’s capital announced in April that Apple’s 5G hardware violated claim 13 of Colombian patent NC2019/0003681. The FOSS Patents report said the patent was deemed necessary for the 5G standard and was awarded to Ericsson in 2019. According to the court, the patent is valid until December 2037.
After the April infringement, Ericsson posted a $50,000 bond the following month, and on July 6 a court ordered a preliminary injunction against Apple’s subsidiary in the country, Apple Colombia SAS. Under the injunction, Apple can no longer import, sell, advertise or otherwise any product that infringes its patents. This means that any 5G iPhone or iPad will face the ban. The company must also “warn and communicate” with retailers, social media platforms, mass media and other companies to ensure compliance.
Apple cannot appeal the ruling
The court also ordered Colombian customs authorities, Direccion de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales, to effect the ban. Apple is reportedly appealing the ruling. However, Judge Ronald Neil Orozco Gomez ruled that Apple cannot seek or enforce “counter-suit injunctions,” or “anti-countersuit injunctions,” from foreign countries. This ruling is for countries that can prevent or limit the enforcement of the preliminary injunction. This will make it difficult for the company to initiate a counter-suit injunction because it would violate a court order.
As a result, the company will instead seek countersuit damages in the Eastern District of Texas. Apple filed an emergency motion with the court on Friday, asking Chief Judge Rodney S. Gilstrap to rule that Ericsson must “compensate Apple for any fines, fees, penalties and costs incurred as a result of the Colombia ban“.
The District Court of Mannheim, Germany also recently ruled that OPPO infringed Nokia’s 4G/5G patents. The court grants Nokia a cease and desist order against OPPO. This means that OPPO and OnePlus devices will face a ban in Germany.