Qualcomm steps up legal battle with Apple, asks iPhone ban

July 7, 2017
US chipmaker Qualcomm has filed fresh legal actions against Apple alleging patent infringement and asking for a US import ban on any iPhones that unfairly use Qualcomm technology

Qualcomm on Thursday escalated its legal battle with Apple, filing a patent infringement lawsuit and requesting a ban on the importation of some iPhones, claiming unlawful and unfair use of the chipmaker's technology.

Qualcomm said it filed two separate legal actions including a complaint asking for the iPhone import ban with the US International Trade Commission, a quasi-judicial government agency which hears cases involving trade disputes.

The complaint alleges that iPhones, which are made in China, should not be allowed to be brought into the United States if they infringe on Qualcomm's patents.

The chipmaker also filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court for Southern California seeking damages from the same infringement allegations.

"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."

It was not immediately clear which iPhones would be affected. But Qualcomm alleges that it has six patents developed in the past four years that improve battery life in mobile devices and that "Apple uses these technologies in its devices but is not paying for them."

The fresh legal actions sharply escalated the war between the two California giants, which began in January when Apple filed a lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of abusing its market power to demand unfair royalties.

Responding to the latest legal actions, Apple repeated its allegations against Qualcomm.

"Qualcomm's illegal business practices are harming Apple and the entire industry," an Apple statement said.

"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."

Apple chief executive Tim Cook earlier this year said Qualcomm provides "one small part of what an iPhone is," and that the chipmaker "has nothing do with the display or the Touch ID or a gazillion other innovations that Apple has done."

The Apple suit echoed charges filed by antitrust regulators in the United States and other major markets around the world.

Qualcomm responded in April that Apple had been providing "false and misleading information" to antitrust authorities in an effort to reduce its royalty payments to Qualcomm.

The iPhone maker relies on Qualcomm for chip-based modems that enable its devices to communicate with telecommunications networks.

Explore further: Apple opens new round in battle with Qualcomm

Related Stories

Apple opens new round in battle with Qualcomm

June 21, 2017

Apple has expanded its legal battle against Qualcomm, accusing the US chip maker of charging for invalid patents in the latest twist in the clash between the two tech giants.

Qualcomm fires back at Apple with countersuit

April 11, 2017

Qualcomm has moved on the offensive in its legal battle with Apple with a countersuit claiming the iPhone maker breached agreements and encouraged regulatory attacks worldwide on the US computer chipmaker.

Recommended for you

A not-quite-random walk demystifies the algorithm

December 15, 2017

The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results.

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality' (Update)

December 14, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit ...

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...

6 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bart_A
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 07, 2017
Apple is acting quite silly and immature. Qualcomm technology is at the core of the iPhone. Qualcomm has spent billions of dollars developing this technology (LTE, LTE-A, and many other technologies related to phones) and deserves to be paid for it. They are truly a great American company and innovator.

BubbaNicholson
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 08, 2017
Apple executives think nothing of stealing intellectual property, they don't even answer complaints. For instance, I helped write the film called Dead Poets Society, mostly poems and bits. One of my bits was the speech that begins "Huddle up" and ends with "What will your verse be?" I wrote it for the film when they told me that it ended in a suicide scene. I hoped to persuade them to turn the film away from darkness by singing a paean against suicide that I knew they would have to include (hey, I'm good). Anyway, that failed, but the little speech did diminish the appeal of suicide, I hoped. Suddenly Apple used my speech (along with some really incredible videography) to sell iPads. I provided proof that I'd composed the speech they stole and asked for fair compensation. I'm still waiting for an answer. Apple is a company run by thieves who refuse to pay taxes or to pay for the use of intellectual property. Qualcomm is just another Apple victim, doubtless one of many.
omegatalon
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 08, 2017
It's funny that Liberals who slam Ivanka Trump for having factories in China for her company's clothing line don't think Apple builds all of their iPhone and iPads in China is an issue.
someone11235813
3 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2017
Apple is acting quite silly and immature...


Apple are only one of many being gouged by Qualcomm and further are trying to extort Apple for helping the Korean authorities. From the Financial Times article in link below...[i]South Korean authorities levied a $854m fine on the company in December, accusing it of charging "excessive" licensing fees, a probe in which Apple participated. The European Commission launched a similar investigation in 2015 and the Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm in January over its licence terms.[/i]

https://www.googl...0aUqWfeA
Dingbone
Jul 09, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Bart_A
1 / 5 (2) Jul 10, 2017
someone11, no, Qualcomm has such good technology that companies are willing to pay $$$ for it. People like you try to downplay the amazing IP that they have, and you support foreign governments colluding to basically steal from these great US companies.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.