US ITC Reviewing Apple-Qualcomm Patent Dispute

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It’s been awhile since Apple alleged that Qualcomm had been garnering royalties on patents that were not even related to it. To end that all, Apple decided to stop paying any royalties to Qualcomm in April after taking a legal action against them. And now, Qualcomm has accused Apple of violating six of its patents in relation to the mobile technologies that it had used in some of its iPhones.

Along with it, Qualcomm has also requested for a ban on the import of some of the iPhone models from China to the United States.

The US International Trade Commission said that the body will investigate the Qualcomm’s complaint against Apple and will take the relevant actions in this regard. As per the procedure, the complaint will be assigned to an administrative law judge for the hearings to collect the relevant pieces of evidence instead of just dismissing it.

It will take around 12 months to 16 months for the US ITC to examine the infringement claims and come to a conclusion. No decisions have yet been taken by the body in this regard.

Qualcomm’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Don Rosenberg said in a statement, “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.”

As per the latest reports, Apple wants to pay the licensing fee in accordance with the value of the modem, while Qualcomm desires the fee be based on the value of the phone. Qualcomm believes that its technology is not only limited to the modem but has wide usage in the image processing for photos, audio/video compression technology, and GPS location.

The commission told that the Apple products that the Qualcomm has claimed to be violating its patents include iPhone 7 and various other components including baseband processor modems.

It was stated that Apple used Intel cellular modems for some of the iPhone sets while remaining were supplied by Qualcomm.

In July, Computer and Communications Industry Association also presented a formal letter with ITC that the ban on the import of foreign-assembled iPhones would prove to be hazardous to the smartphone market.

Intel has been seen supporting Apple by saying that the mobile-phone chip-maker, Qualcomm had maintained a monopoly over the chip market with its anti-competitive practices.

In a response to Qualcomm’s claim, Apple said that it had tried negotiating the matter with Qualcomm, but it looked in no mood of negotiation.

Qualcomm also stated that after Apple refused to pay royalties to Qualcomm, the chip manufacturer had faced 11 per cent decline in its revenue over the previous year.

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