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Apple, Qualcomm patent dispute rages on

Qualcomm now files complaint with U.S. International Trade Commission on patent infringement against Apple

Apple, Qualcomm patent dispute rages on
US trade body takes up Qualcomm's complaint against Apple.

The years-long trade dispute between Qualcomm and Apple has taken a fresh twist following news that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has commenced an investigation into the Cupertino, California-based tech giant. The chip maker filed a complaint against Apple with the ITC on July 7, 2017.

Qualcomm wants Apple barred from importing certain models of iPhones and iPads that use Qualcomm’s cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates.

The chip maker alleges Apple has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing and selling devices that infringe one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents.

“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,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

“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.”

The ITC is a quasi-government body charged investigating claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including allegations of patent and trademark infringement

In addition to the complaint filed with the ITC, on July 7, 2017, Qualcomm filed a suit against Apple Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple infringes the same six patents in the complaint filed in the ITC. Qualcomm has also sued Apple for patent infringement in Germany. That lawsuit, commenced on July 17, 2017, seeks damages and injunctive relief for iPhones imported into or sold in Germany. 

This is the latest in a tit for tat legal battle between the two companies that go back years. At the heart of the dispute is an allegation that Qualcomm was exploiting a dominant market position to charge excessive royalties.

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