Colombian courts ban 5G iPhones and iPads over patent conflict


Preliminary injunction prevents Apple from selling or importing items that infringe on that patent, as well as from advertising those products.

Apple and Ericsson are locked in a patent battle that has resulted in a ban on 5G iPhone and iPad devices in Colombia.

Florian Mueller of Foss Patents says:


Ericsson v. Apple patent infringement cases have been going on for less than six months, yet already the first sales and import ban has been issued:

This country’s 5G iPhones and iPads can’t be purchased from or imported into by Apple at this time.

According to a recent ruling from a Colombian court, Apple’s latest iPhone models, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, and several 5G iPads infringe on an Ericsson patent for 5G technology.


As of right now, Apple is prohibited from “the import, sale, commercialization, and advertisement of products infringing that patent” and must “warn and communicate” with businesses, retailers, owners of social media platforms, mass media outlets, and e-commerce sites to ensure compliance. Apple has filed an appeal.

Ericsson will not be able to enforce the decision if Apple seeks an anti-suit injunction to prevent it.

Given that the Colombian injunction restricts the options open to Apple, Mueller writes that the company is now suing Ericsson for damages in Texas and “any fines, fees, penalties, and costs it incurs as a result of the Texas verdict.”


There are no Apple storefronts in Colombia, although the company does sell its goods through a network of carriers and third-party merchants, including the iPhone. Another problem, as noted by Mueller, is Colombia’s lack of a functioning 5G network, as asserted by Apple. However, he points out that an infringement may have already occurred during 5G testing or might occur in the future once 5G is live in the country, which is why he issued the order in the first place.

Currently, a worldwide patent fight over 5G technology is raging between Apple and Ericsson. A previous arrangement between the two companies to license 3G and 4G technology terminated last year due to an inability to agree on a new agreement that incorporated 5G technology. Because Apple’s gadgets rely on Ericsson’s patents to function properly, the Swedish business has filed many cases against the iPhone maker.

First injunction against iPhone since Qualcomm patent litigation in Germany in 2018, although that was for older models. Unprecedented action against Apple’s current iPhone line-up is what this is about.


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