CHIPMAKER Qualcomm has taken things up a notch in its ongoing legal tussle with Apple and is reportedly seeking an iPhone sales ban in the US.
Qualcomm and Apple have been facing off since January, when the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices by bribing Apple to use its chips in iPhones and iPads
Later that month, Apple slapped Qualcomm with a lawsuit of its own, alleging that the firm charged firm deliberately overcharged for its technologies and refused to cough-up promised rebates.
Of course, Qualcomm fired back, and in April it threw some sass in the direction of Apple and has hit back at the firm with a counter lawsuit. It accused the iPhone maker of breaching licensing agreements, making false statements about the performance of its chips, and encouraging regulatory attacks against Qualcomm's business.
Qualcomm this week reportedly took things a step further. Bloomberg reports that, since Apple last week decided to withold royalty payments, Qualcomm will be seeking an iPhone sales ban in the US.
According to a "person familiar with the company's strategy", Qualcomm has asked the US trade agency to ban the imports of iPhones, and is planning is to ask the International Trade Commission to stop the smartphone from entering the country.
The report notes that Qualcomm may also seek an iPhone sales ban in the UK, Germany and China.
Both firms refused to comment on the Bloomberg report, but Tim Cook spoke out about the escalating legal battle during the firm's earnings call this week.
When quizzed about the possibility of Qualcomm attempting to halt iPhone sales, Cook said: "That's both the price and the business terms. Qualcomm has not made such an offer to Apple.
"I don't believe anyone's going to decide to enjoin the iPhone based on that. There's plenty of case law around that subject. But we shall see."
"We strongly believe we're in the right. And I'm sure they believe that they are," Cook addd. "And that's what courts are for. And so we'll let it go with that." µ
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