Qual­comm asks for iPhone ban

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Qual­comm on Thurs­day es­ca­lated its le­gal bat­tle with Ap­ple, fil­ing a pa­tent in­fringe­ment law­suit and re­quest­ing a ban on the im­por­ta­tion of some iPhones, claim­ing un­law­ful and un­fair use of the chip­maker's tech­nol­ogy. Qual­comm said it filed two sep­a­rate le­gal ac­tions in­clud­ing a com­plaint ask­ing for the iPhone im­port ban with the US In­ter­na­tional Trade Com­mis­sion, a quasi-ju­di­cial gov­ern­ment agency which hears cases in­volv­ing trade dis­putes.

The com­plaint al­leges that iPhones, which are made in China, should not be al­lowed to be brought into the United States if they in­fringe on Qual­comm's patents. The chip­maker also filed a com­plaint against Ap­ple in the US Dis­trict Court for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia seek­ing dam­ages from the same pa­tent in­fringe­ment al­le­ga­tions.

"Qual­comm's inventions are at the heart of ev­ery iPhone and ex­tend well beyond mo­dem tech­nolo­gies or cel­lu­lar stan­dards," said Don Rosen­berg, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral coun­sel of Qual­comm. "The patents we are as­sert­ing rep­re­sent six im­por­tant tech­nolo­gies, out of a port­fo­lio of thou­sands, and each is vi­tal to iPhone func­tions. Ap­ple con­tin­ues to use Qual­comm's tech­nol­ogy while re­fus­ing to pay for it."

It was not im­me­di­ately clear which iPhones would be af­fected. But Qual­comm al­leges that it has six patents de­vel­oped in the past four years that im­prove bat­tery life in mo­bile de­vices and that "Ap­ple uses these tech­nolo­gies in its de­vices but is not pay­ing for them."

The fresh le­gal ac­tions sharply es­ca­lated the war be­tween the two Cal­i­for­nia tech­nol­ogy gi­ants, which be­gan in Jan­uary when Ap­ple filed a law­suit ac­cus­ing Qual­comm of abus­ing its mar­ket power to demand un­fair roy­al­ties. Re­spond­ing to the lat­est le­gal ac­tions, Ap­ple re­peated its al­le­ga­tions against Qual­comm. "Qual­comm's il­le­gal busi­ness prac­tices are harm­ing Ap­ple and the en­tire in­dus­try," an Ap­ple state­ment said.

"They sup­ply us with a sin­gle con­nec­tiv­ity com­po­nent, but for years have been de­mand­ing a per­cent­age of the to­tal cost of our prod­ucts-ef­fec­tively tax­ing Ap­ple's in­no­va­tion." Ap­ple chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook ear­lier this year said Qual­comm pro­vides "one small part of what an iPhone is," and that the chip­maker "has noth­ing do with the dis­play or the Touch ID or a gazil­lion other in­no­va­tions that Ap­ple has done."

The Ap­ple suit echoed charges filed by an­titrust reg­u­la­tors in the United States and other ma­jor mar­kets around the world. Qual­comm re­sponded in April that Ap­ple had been pro­vid­ing "false and mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion" to an­titrust author­i­ties in an ef­fort to re­duce its roy­alty pay­ments to Qual­comm. The iPhone maker re­lies on Qual­comm for chip-based modems that en­able its de­vices to com­mu­ni­cate with telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions net­works.

CHICAGO: In this Fri­day, Sept. 16, 2016, file photo, a cus­tomer sets up his new iPhone 7 Plus, right, as he switches from the iPhone 6 at the Ap­ple Store on Michi­gan Av­enue dur­ing the re­lease of the Ap­ple iPhone 7 and the lat­est Ap­ple Watches. — AP

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