Qualcomm looks for iPhone sales ban in US, sues Apple in Germany

Qualcomm applied with the US’s International Trade Commission for a total imports injunction, or an effective sales ban, against Apple and its iPhones on July 6. It’s been one link in a chain of escalating actions between the two companies over patent licensing disputes for the chipmaker’s intellectual property.

Qualcomm claims it’s asking a fair price for pioneering technologies that have made the mobile tech industry possible while Apple is playing the victim of unfair contract terms not only gave the San Diego-based company unattributed royalties, but made it extremely difficult to source from competitors.

Two weeks later, the Computer & Communications Industry Association is placing a brief in Apple’s defense. It represents the interests of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

To point, association CEO Ed Black said that as many iPhone 7 units have Intel modems and not Qualcomm ones, a complete imports ban would create “significant shocks to supply” that would harm consumers and the industry.

If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices […] What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices.”

Multiple tech sector companies have filed briefs in favor of the FTC’s suit against Qualcomm.

As the commission mulls over Qualcomm’s request, Qualcomm is amping up its legal weaponry as Apple has been initiating suits in the US and China. In this case, we’re now looking at two new dockets in Munich and Mannheim in Germany that are linked to two non-standard essential patents. The sum goal is to prevent iPhone imports into Deutscheland.

“Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it,” said executive vice president and general counsel Don Rosenberg.

Apple is said to be withholding its partner suppliers from sending any royalties to each other as dictated in Qualcomm’s contract with Apple.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.