Qualcomm-Apple patent battle intensifies, chipmaker wants ban on US imports of iPhones using Intel modem

By Karthekayan Iyer | Published on 07 Jul 2017

Qualcomm's patent lawsuit battle with Apple is heating up, with the former alleging patent infringement. The San Diego-based chipmaker is asking for a limited exclusion order to ban the import of iPhones

Qualcomm-Apple patent battle intensifies, chipmaker wants ban on US imports of iPhones using Intel modem

Qualcomm has once again filed a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement. The San Diego-based mobile chipmaker has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking to ban the import of iPhones. Qualcomm claims that Apple's iPhones infringed six patents enabling some of the core functions of the smartphone.

In the lawsuit, Qualcomm has also accused Apple of engaging in unlawful import and sale of iPhones in the United States. Qualcomm has further requested the US ITC to initiate an investigation into its patent infringement claim and issue a limited exclusion order to ban the import of those iPhones. Apple's latest iPhones feature LTE modem chipsets from either Intel or Qualcomm, and the latter is particularly seeking to bar the import of iPhones using Intel modem chipsets. 

"Qualcomm's inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards. 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," said Don Rosenberg, executive Vice President and General Counsel of Qualcomm.

In its application, Qualcomm is citing six patents issued between 2013 and 2017 for enabling high-speed performance and extended battery life on any smartphone. The company has also blamed Apple for infringing its patents related to media streaming and gaming.

Apple and Qualcomm have been involved in a lawsuit for the past few months, with Apple accusing the chipmaker of overcharging for the use of its basic patents. Qualcomm rejected that claim and countersued the Cupertino-based iPhone-maker for breach of an agreement. A recent report indicated that Apple is planning to continue to use the modem from Qualcomm, but will eventually switch to Intel's modems entirely for future iPhones.

In addition to this lawsuit filed with the US ITC, Qualcomm has also filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court for the Southern District of California seeking damages and injunctive relief for infringement of the same six patents. The mobile chipmaker expects the ITC to commence its investigation in August and the trial is expected to begin next year.

Karthekayan Iyer

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