CHIPMAKER Qualcomm is stepping things up a notch in its ongoing legal battle with Apple by seeking a sales and import ban on some iPhone models.
We knew this was coming, and Qualcomm on Thursday made it official by filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that iPhones using Intel's 4G wireless chips are effectively using six Qualcomm patents "unfairly" and "unlawfully".
Qualcomm has previously argued that Apple purposefully didn't use the full potential of the Qualcomm chips inside the iPhone 7 so that they wouldn't outperform the modems provided by Intel.
The six patents in question cover "key technologies that enable important features and functions" and "enable high performance in a smartphone while extending battery life", according to Qualcomm, which also argues that none of the patents could be considered standards-essential.
"The six asserted patents are not essential to practice any standards in a mobile device or subject to a commitment to offer to license such patents," the firm said.
The firm is asking the ITC to investigate Apple and "and ultimately issue a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to bar importation of those iPhones and other products into the United States."
Not only that, but Qualcomm is also seeking a Cease and Desist Order barring further sales of infringeming Apple products, along with "the marketing, advertising, demonstration, warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of those imported products in the United States".
In addition to its planned ITC filing, Qualcomm also filed a complaint with the US District Court for the Southern District of California regarding infringement of the six patents.
"Qualcomm's inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.
"The patents we are asserting represent six important technologies, out of a portfolio of thousands, and each is vital to iPhone functions. Apple continues to use Qualcomm's technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple's infringement of six of our patented technologies."
In response to Qualcomm's actions, Apple reiterated its previous comments comments, saying: "Qualcomm's illegal business practices are harming Apple and the entire industry," the company said when it filed its suit against Qualcomm last month.
"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." µ
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