Trade Commission US Directs on Import Ban iPhones
Trade Commission US Directs on Import Ban iPhones. In the protracted conflict between Apple and chipmaker Qualcomm about the modems in iPhones, the American trade commission ITC now directs a sales ban.
Qualcomm sued Apple last year for the use of its patents in iPhones. Apple then refused to pay licensing fees to Qualcomm for standard patents for technologies such as 4G.
Until 2016 Qualcomm was the only supplier of modems in iPhones and iPads. The company gave Apple a special discount, as long as Apple did not use any modems from competitors. The European Commission recently sanctioned a fine of nearly 1 billion euros.
For his current iPhones, Apple has partly switched to modems from Intel, for new models, Apple would even get rid of Qualcomm modems. Qualcomm demands as long as Apple does not pay licensing fees an import ban on all iPhones without its chips.
The license costs are a vital source of income for Qualcomm. With a market share of around 90 percent, the company is by far the most significant maker of modems in consumer phones and the company’s patents are automatically the standard.
In the lawsuit between Apple and Qualcomm, the American International Trade Commission (ITC) acts as an advisory body. The ITC states in the case that Apple has violated a Qualcomm patent in the area of battery saving of modems reports Reuters.
ITC jurists advise the jury to vote for Qualcomm’s equal. Although that advice is not binding, it is often taken over by the jury.
If that happens, Qualcomm demands an import ban on iPhones that violate the patent. Apple speaks of abuse of power and argues that a sale ban on Intel chips would mean a monopoly position for Qualcomm.
“Qualcomm deliberately only uses patents that apply to Apple products that use Intel chips, even if the patents are also violated by-products with Qualcomm chips in it,” Apple said. “The company wants to use the ITC to extend its unjustly obtained monopoly position.”
Although it will not quickly lead to a real import ban on iPhones, Qualcomm can use a statement to its advantage as a means of pressure. The two companies now have some issues with each other.