Apple gets one ruling in favour and another against it in battle with Qualcomm

Qualcomm has claimed time and time again that it is due billions of dollars in unpaid royalties.

The legal battle between tech giants Qualcomm and Apple is one which does not look to subside anytime soon. While sometimes Qualcomm is winning to stop sales of iPhones which use chipsets made by it other times a defiant Apple wins the legal turmoil to resume sales. In a ruling on 26 March, the Cupertino Giant dodged one import ban to face another.

Apple. Reuters

Apple. Reuters

As per a report by Bloomberg, the US International Trade Commission recommended a ban on certain older models of the iPhone while also ruling that the Qualcomm patent for a battery saving feature on the iPhone was invalid.

Qualcomm has claimed time and time again that it is due billions of dollars in unpaid royalties on the iPhone. Apple, on the other hand, has reportedly claimed that it has infringed on no patent by Qualcomm and argued that the company is trying to shut out its only US-based rival.

“Qualcomm is using these cases to distract from having to answer for the real issues, their monopolistic business practices.” said Apple in a statement. The report states that Qualcomm has often termed Intel products as 'inferior' and said that Intel and Apple use unlicensed Qualcomm technology to make the chipsets better.

The focus moves now to skirmishes that will likely be more important. A ruling is expected soon in an antitrust case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission accusing Qualcomm of abusing a monopoly on mobile chip technology.

A case brought by Apple making similar claims goes to trial in April in California over allegations Qualcomm seeks inflated royalties for licensing its technology in violation of antitrust laws.

Qualcomm has won sales bans against Apple in China and Germany, though the China ban has not been enforced and Apple resumed sales of phones in Germany by shipping phones with only Qualcomm chips.

Apple has also racked up victories by having many of Qualcomm’s patents invalidated, at least on a preliminary basis. And the chip supplier has been dealt setbacks in its FTC trial, where a pre-trial ruling forced it to license its technology to other chip firms.

Of the two cases decided on Tuesday by the ITC, the ruling favorable to Apple can only be appealed to a federal court. The ruling favorable to Qualcomm faces review by the full six-member ITC, which will make a final decision.

With inputs from Reuters

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