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Qualcomm asks regulators to impose an import ban on some models of iPhones

A Qualcomm stand during CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Qualcomm, a chip maker in bitter patent litigation with tech giant Giant Apple, has asked US sales representatives to lift a court ruling and impose a ban on some iPhones, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Originally, Qualcomm filed a lawsuit in 2017 with the US International Trade Commission. It alleged that several aspects of Apple's iOS infringe its patents and the latter owes royalties and royalties of $ 7 billion. ITUC Administrative Judge Thomas Pender noted that Apple had violated the patents, but refused to impose a ban on "some older iPhone models with Intel Corp chips", Reuters said. This decision would give Qualcomm an unfair advantage in the US mobile chip market. However, Qualcomm won partial bans in both Germany and China.

According to AppleInsider, energy-saving measures for radio modems are particularly important. Apple has recently announced that its software has been patched to make one of the patent litigation. AppleInsider reports that it was introduced in iOS 12.1 (late October 2018).

Reuters said a ban is unlikely to result in any serious long-term consequences for Apple, as the company requires half a year to demonstrate that the fix is ​​functional:

A potential ban on iPhone imports to the United States could be short-lived, as Apple announced for the first time last week that a software fix was found to prevent the infringement of a Qualcomm patent. Apple has asked regulators to give it six months to prove the correction works.

… Cases in which the ITC identifies patent infringements but does not prohibit the import of products are rare. In December, the entire ITC said it would review Pender's decision and decide by the end of March whether to maintain or withdraw it.

Qualcomm, in turn, argues in court that Apple's fix was rolled out, even though Apple insisted in court that a patch was not possible, possibly affecting Pender's earlier decision. It also demands that the court refuse Apple's request for a six-month delay if a ban is imposed, AppleInsider said.

Conversely, Apple insists that Qualcomm's patent licensing practices are illegal – a dispute that has already been fought in Qualcomm's separate litigation with the Federal Trade Commission, which does not require judgment. The two companies will be brought to trial in April, within Apple's window for correction and probably after the FTC case is closed.

[Reuters]

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