CHIPMAKER Qualcomm has filed a new lawsuit against Apple in China in a bid to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country.
Qualcomm, which is already seeking an iPhone sales ban in the US, alleges in its latest lawsuit that Apple is in violation of three patents covering power management and the Force Touch technology in Apple's touchscreen devices, none of which it is obligated to licence.
"Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them," a Qualcomm spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Albeit unlikely, if Qualcomm was successful in its bid to halt iPhone sales and production in China, this would be a huge blow to Apple, which carries out most of its manufacturing in the country. Currently, the firm rushing to manufacture as many iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models as possible amid reported production issues.
Still, Apple doesn't seem too fussed, and in a statement slammed Qualcomm's latest allegation as "meritless".
"Apple believes deeply in the value of innovation, and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. In our many years of ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm, these patents have never been discussed and in fact were only granted in the last few months," an Apple spokesperson said.
"Regulators around the world have found Qualcomm guilty of abusing their position for years. This claim is meritless and, like their other courtroom manoeuvres, we believe this latest legal effort will fail."
Qualcomm and Apple have been battling for months. It all began in January when Apple accused the chipmaker of overcharging for processors and of withholding $1bn in contractual rebate payments.
Qualcomm responded with a lawsuit of its own, which saw the US ITC launch an investigation into whether certain Apple devices, including the iPhone 7, infringe on Qualcomm patents.
Currently, the firm is attempting to get a ban on Intel-powered iPhones in the US, claiming that iPhones using Intel's 4G wireless chips are effectively using six Qualcomm patents "unfairly" and "unlawfully".
Things aren't going too well for Qualcomm though, and just last week it was handed a $744m fine by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission, which ruled that the chipmaker abused its monopoly over smartphone modems to squeeze higher licensing fees and better terms out of its customers. µ
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