Qualcomm files complaint against Apple over patents

Natalie Bannerman
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The Apple-Qualcomm dispute continues as Qualcomm files a complaint with the International Trade Commission and federal court over patent infringement

Qualcomm has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and a federal court against Apple alleging that the company has unlawfully imported and sold iPhones that uses Qualcomm technology.

The company says that the iPhones infringe six Qualcomm patents that “enable important features and functions in iPhones”. Qualcomm has asked for an “investigation into Apple’s infringing imports and ultimately issue a limited exclusion order (LEO) to bar importation of those iPhones (that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates) and other products into the United States to stop Apple’s unlawful and unfair use of Qualcomm’s technology.”

The news comes as part of an on-going tumultuous relationship between the two companies. In January of this year Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion claiming that it over charged for its processors with, Qualcomm responding with a counter suit of their own accusing Apple of making false statements to regulators.

Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, said: “Qualcomm’s inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards. 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.”

Qualcomm are also seeking a cease and desist order blocking further sales of any infringing Apple products that have already been imported and stop the “marketing, advertising, demonstration, warehousing” of any infringing products in the United States.

The six patents in question are: US Patent No 8,633,936, US Patent No 8,698,558, US Patent No 8,487,658, US Patent No 8,838,949, US Patent No 9,535,490 and US Patent No 9,608,675, which enable high performance in a smartphone while extending battery life. 

Qualcomm have recently filed an additional complaint against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple infringes the same six patents in the complaint filed in the ITC. Qualcomm are seeking damages and injunctive relief.

The company have said that it expects that the international trade commission investigation will commence in August and that the case will be tried next year.