3 min Devices

Qualcomm still wants an American import ban on certain iPhones

Qualcomm still wants an American import ban on certain iPhones

The battle between Qualcomm and Apple has escalated again. Now Qualcomm is asking the American International Trade Commission to reverse the decision of one of its judges. According to Qualcomm, there should still be an import ban on certain iPhones.

Press agency Reuters states that Qualcomm hopes to win a battle from Apple in this way. In mid-April, a major case starts between the two companies about the way in which Qualcomm enforces patent licenses. In the meantime, Qualcomm is increasing the pressure on Apple and has already won business in China and Germany. Apple is only allowed to sell iPhones with Qualcomm chips there. Qualcomm now wants to achieve this in the United States.

Patent infringement

Qualcomm brought the case before the American International Trade Commission (ITC) in 2017. According to Qualcomm, Apple violated certain patents with some of its iPhones. These patents covered, among other things, ways to make a smartphone run smoothly, without draining the battery. For this reason, Qualcomm requested an import ban from the ITC judge on certain older iPhone models with Intel modems.

Last September, Thomas Pender, the ITC judge in this case, stated that Apple had indeed infringed one of Qualcomm’s patents. But Pender refused to impose an import ban. The underlying idea: Qualcomm would then effectively gain a monopoly on the American market for fashion chips. With the advent of 5G networks, according to Pender, it is in the public interest to maintain competition in the modems market.

This decision by Pender was quite unusual. In an ITC case where the conclusion is that patents have indeed been infringed, import bans usually follow. But Pender considered the public interest to be more important on the one hand, and on the other hand, it seemed impossible to solve Apple’s problems using software. Nevertheless, the ITC announced last December that it would review Pender’s decision and come up with a new decision in March.

Still a ban?

However, a new development means that Qualcomm is already asking for a reconsideration of Pender’s decision. Apple recently announced that it had developed a fix that ensured that it no longer infringed Qualcomm’s patents. Apple said it had discovered the fix after the trial and rolled it out last autumn. However, according to Apple, it takes six months to find out if the fix is really sufficient for the ITC.

According to Qualcomm, however, this is reason enough to introduce an import ban. According to Qualcomm, Pender assumed that Apple would only be able to purchase Qualcomm modems if it was banned for many years. According to Pender, a redesign was probably not possible. But “more than seven months after the sessions, Apple indicates that the alleged damage is completely bypassable”. For this reason, Qualcomm would like to see an import ban.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.