Things are heating up in the patent dispute between Qualcomm and Apple, as a press release from Qualcomm has confirmed that the U.S. International Trade Commission will be investigating whether iPhone sales should be banned while Qualcomm’s patent dispute with Apple remains unresolved.
The ITC is taking action based on the claim that Qualcomm filed back in July, which alleged that Apple is in violation of six patents held by Qualcomm. Qualcomm says the ITC will now fully investigate their claim to determine whether Apple has “engaged in unfair trade practices by importing devices . . . that infringe on one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents.”
If the ITC finds in favor of Qualcomm, the company has asked the ITC to issue a Limited Exclusion Order to bar the importation of more iPhones into the US. Alongside that, a Cease and Desist Order would be issued to bar further sales and marketing of the iPhone and iPad inside the United States.
Of course, Qualcomm is chuffed to bits that the ITC has decided to move forward with the case. Qualcomm’s general counsel Don Rosenberg issued this statement alongside the press release:
“Qualcomm is pleased with the ITC’s decision to investigate Apple’s unfair trade practices and the unauthorized importation of products using Qualcomm’s patents. 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.”
Qualcomm has gone after Apple heavily for patent infringement, as it has also filed suit against Apple 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 is also pursuing a patent infringement suit against Apple in Germany, which could have similar consequences for Apple in Europe as the ITC investigation here in the US.
This isn’t the first time Qualcomm has gone after its partners, as Samsung was the target of a patent infringement suit earlier this year.