December 2, 2017

Why Does Qualcomm Seek to Ban Apple’s iPhone X & iPhone 8?

Qualcomm has announced that it filed 3 new patent infringement claims against Apple. The company accused the Cupertino giant of violating a total of 16 Qualcomm patents with its recent iPhone releases, including the iPhone X. Also, a new lawsuit filing by Qualcomm with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding five of the patents aims to ban iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use chips from Intel in the US.


The legal battle started when Apple sued Qualcomm for USD$1 billion following an FTC complaint alleging Qualcomm engaging in anti-competitive behavior. Coming to the current lawsuit, Qualcomm claims that Apple violated patents related to the bandwidth technology, power saving methods, memory designs, phone’s actual interfaces, photo editing, carrier aggregation, technology from dual-camera setups, and even camera autofocus.  It also claims that the depth-based image enhancement technique for Portrait mode violates a Qualcomm patent.

“Rather than pay Qualcomm for the technology Apple uses, Apple has taken extraordinary measures to avoid paying Qualcomm for the fair value of Qualcomm’s patents,” the complaint states. “Apple can import iPhones (regardless of who supplies the modems) that do not infringe the patents asserted in this action, but Apple has no inherent right to infringe Qualcomm’s [non-standards essential patents] through the sale of its iPhones. Preventing such infringement, and thereby rewarding innovation is the very purpose for which the patent system was designed.”


In a previous filing in July with the ITC, Qualcomm asked to ban iPhone 7, iPhone 7 plus models equipped with Intel modem chips including some iPad models. However, that complain was only limited to the devices with Intel chips but not the ones with Qualcomm chips.

General Counsel Don Rosenberg in a statement said, “You can’t react that quickly to file lawsuits. We were in the process of filing three new district court cases in San Diego today, and one new ITC case in Washington, D.C. Those involve a group of 16 patents that are additional to the ones we have already sued them on, and five of those 16 are ones we are suing them on in the ITC seeking an exclusion order.”

We have no clue on how far will this year-long legal battle will go? What do you think? Who will win ultimately? Drop your thoughts in the comments!

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