Qualcomm goes after Apple, seeks iPhone import ban
Qualcomm filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, accusing Apple’s iPhones and iPads of infringing six of its mobile patents. (Representative image Reuters)
Global chip maker Qualcomm has filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, asking the US authorities to ban imports of some iPhone and iPad models. According to a Fortune report late Thursday, Qualcomm filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, accusing Apple’s iPhones and iPads of infringing six of its mobile patents. Qualcomm said all iPhones and iPads that contain competing mobile communications chips should be barred from the country.
But any decision on the ban which could cover iPhone 7, 7 Plus and some future iPhones would at least take up to 18 months to come into practice, hence the upcoming iPhone 8 is not under any immediate threat. Apple responded to this, saying that the companz had tried to negotiate before suing and that Qualcomm is abusing its position.
“They supply us with a single connectivity component, but for years have been demanding a percentage of the total cost of our products – effectively taxing Apple’s innovation,” Forture reported, citing an Apple statement. “We believe deeply in the value of intellectual property but we shouldn’t have to pay them for technology breakthroughs they have nothing to do with,” the statement added.
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In April, Apple stopped paying royalties to contract manufacturers for phone patents owned by Qualcomm over an “unresolved issue”. Apple reportedly stopped paying royalties starting with devices sold during the March quarter. Qualcomm is one of the world’s biggest provider of mobile chips and derives revenue majorly from licensing that technology to hundreds of handset manufacturers and others.
The US chip manufacturer had lambasted Apple for breaching deals between the two companies and urged that the lawsuit filed in January against them by the iPhone maker should be rejected. Qualcomm also accused Apple of harming its business and sought unspecified damages. Apple sued Qualcomm in January for nearly one billion dollars over royalties, with the Cupertino-based tech giant alleging the wireless chipmaker did not give fair licensing terms for its processor technology.
But Qualcomm refuted the allegations, saying that Apple had intentionally mischaracterised the agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology they had invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers “through our licensing programme”.