ITC responds to Qualcomm call for Apple probe - Mobile World Live

ITC responds to Qualcomm call for Apple probe

09 AUG 2017

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) opened an investigation into Qualcomm’s ongoing patent dispute with Apple, which could lead to a ban on the sale and importation of some iPhones in the country.

Its probe follows a complaint from Qualcomm stating iPhones and iPads using cellular baseband processors supplied by companies other than its affiliates infringed up to six patents.

In a statement, Qualcomm said it wanted the offending handsets banned from import and sale in the US. It filed similar complaints with the District Court for California and authorities in Germany.

The ITC will outline the timeline for the investigation within 45 days and aims to deliver a final determination “at the earliest practical time”.

Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said: “Qualcomm is pleased with the ITC’s decision to investigate Apple’s unfair trade practices and the unauthorised importation of products using Qualcomm’s patents.”

“We look forward to the ITC’s expeditious investigation of Apple’s ongoing infringement of our intellectual property and the accelerated relief that the commission can provide.”

Patent wars
The ITC case is the latest chapter in a bitter row between Apple and Qualcomm on royalties, licensing and patents.

Disputes between the two have resulted in a number of lawsuits, and ongoing action by the iPhone maker’s partners – which are withholding royalty payments from Qualcomm.

During its fiscal Q3 earnings update – covering the three months to 25 June – Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf said the action contributed to a 40 per cent decline in quarterly profit and warned the impact would likely continue into fiscal Q4. He maintained the company held the “high ground” in the dispute.

In January, Apple accused Qualcomm of withholding $1 billion in payments and charging royalties on technologies the device maker said Qualcomm had nothing to do with. The complaint followed the opening of an investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission on the chip company’s business tactics.


Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

Read more