Apple and Qualcomm have not been on the best of terms for some time now, and now the chip maker wants the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to restrict imports of some iPhone models, according to Fortune. Qualcomm also wants the ITC to ban the sale of devices already on the shelves in the U.S. and has filed a new patent infringement case against the iPhone maker.
Qualcomm aims to ban iPhone sales
In its new lawsuit, the chip maker claims that Apple has infringed upon a total of six patents, including for technology used to enhance the iPhone’s battery life.
In a statement, Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm, said, “Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it.”
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According to the new lawsuit filed in the Southern District of California, Qualcomm is now expecting regulators to run an investigation to figure out which models use cellular processors from its competitors and restrict the sales of iPhones that violate its patents. The investigation of Apple might begin in August, and then a trial in the case could be held next year, according to Qualcomm. However, Rosenberg added that the decision and potential iPhone sales ban won’t come for about 18 months, notes CNET.
How it all started
The feud that started between Apple and Qualcomm at the beginning of this year is getting thicker as time passes. It all started when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for anti-competitive practices. Thereafter, Apple filed its own version of it attacking the chip maker. Since then, the iPhone maker has expanded that lawsuit to two other countries; meanwhile, the chip maker has filed its own lawsuits, hitting back at Apple and its suppliers.
Apple is adamant that Qualcomm has been involved in illegal business practices affecting the entire industry. The Cupertino, California-based company stated that it deeply believes in the value of its intellectual property, but something that is entirely unrelated to Qualcomm doesn’t draw any liability for it to pay compensation to the chip maker.
How the legal tussle could affect Apple and Qualcomm
Qualcomm’s effort to ban iPhone sales comes at a time when Apple is focused on releasing the next iPhone in the market. For Apple, the iPhone is the key to its success, as about two-thirds of its sales and three-quarters of its gross profit comes from the iPhone. Apple’s much-hyped tenth anniversary iPhone is largely fueling its stock, so any adverse decision could spell trouble for its investors.
Despite the legal tussle, Qualcomm is competing with Intel to supply chips for the yet to-be-released iPhone. Apple picked Intel to supply chips for some of the iPhone 7 units last year. It does not come as a surprise that Qualcomm is vying for Apple’s business, as the legal tussle could affect its revenue stream. About 30% of Qualcomm’s earnings per share is contributed by Apple, according to Macquarie Capital.
On Thursday, Apple shares closed down 0.94% at $142.73. Year to date, the stock is up more than 23%, while in the last year, it is up more than 49%.