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Qualcomm Files New Lawsuits Seeking iPhone Ban in China

14 October 2017

Qualcomm's suit in China is based on three non-standard essential patents that allegedly cover power management and touch-screen technology like Force Touch used in current iPhones. "Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them", a Qualcomm spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Qualcomm filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court, claiming patent infringement and is seeking injunctive relief, Bloomberg said, citing a Qualcomm spokeswoman.

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Although Apple doesn't use Snapdragon processors in its iPhones, it's still on the hook for numerous patents Qualcomm owns. "This claim is meritless and, like their other courtroom maneuvers, we believe this latest legal effort will fail". The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world's largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made. Apple shares gave up some gains from earlier on Friday, while Qualcomm stock maintained small losses. Suppliers and assemblers in China are rushing to churn out as many new iPhones as possible ahead of the key holiday season, so any disruptions would likely be costly. In July, it filed a similar claim in the USA, pointing to six patents that it said Apple was in violation of.

Apple and Qualcomm did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The analyst further notes that a vacuum left by Apple could be filled by Chinese competitors very quickly, and believes that Qualcomm's move is aimed at getting Apple back into negotiations. It's been repeatedly fined for similar behaviors, with the latest ruling coming down yesterday, when it was fined $774 million by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission.

Qualcomm Files New Lawsuits Seeking iPhone Ban in China