Qualcomm escalated its ongoing patent licensing dispute with Apple, filing lawsuits in a Beijing court seeking a ban on the sale and manufacture of iPhones in China.
The US-based company claimed infringement on three non standard-essential patents covering power management and a Force Touch technology, Bloomberg reported.
“Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them,” said Qualcomm representative Christine Trimble.
Apple said the lawsuits have no merit and, like Qualcomm’s other claims, it believes this legal effort will fail, Bloomberg reported: “In our many years of ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm, these patents have never been discussed,” said Apple representative Josh Rosenstock.
Bloomberg quoted Mike Walkley, an MD and senior equity analyst at investment bank Canaccord Genuity, as saying: “This is another step to get Apple back to the negotiating table.” He added there is little or no precedent for a Chinese court to take action at the request of a US company.
Qualcomm filed the lawsuits on 29 September with the Beijing intellectual property court, which did not make them public.
The iPhone accounts for near two-thirds of Apple’s total revenue.
Qualcomm’s move in Beijing comes after it filed a complaint in July claiming iPhones and iPads using cellular baseband processors supplied by companies other than its affiliates infringed up to six patents. Qualcomm said it wanted the offending handsets banned from import and sale in the US.
The US company faces a series of other cases related to its business model.
Qualcomm said last week it will contest a TWD23.4 billion ($774 million) fine levied by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) relating to its sale of mobile phone chips and licensing of standards-essential patents.
Samsung and Intel took aim at the company in mid-May, contributing arguments to a US Federal Trade Commission complaint claiming Qualcomm uses anticompetitive tactics to maintain a monopoly in smartphone chips.
In a separate move in late May, Qualcomm agreed to pay $940 million to BlackBerry relating to an allegation the company overcharged on royalties.