Qualcomm escalates Apple fight, seeks import ban

In an escalation of its patent dispute with Apple, Qualcomm said it is filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple “has engaged in the unlawful importation and sale of iPhones that infringe one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents.”

Qualcomm said it is requesting that the ITC “institute an investigation into Apple’s infringing imports and ultimately issue a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to bar importation of those iPhones and other products into the United States to stop Apple’s unlawful and unfair use of Qualcomm’s technology.”

Qualcomm is seeking the LEO against iPhones “that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates.”

Qualcomm is also seeking a cease and desist order “barring further sales of infringing Apple products that have already been imported and to halt the marketing, advertising, demonstration, warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of those imported products in the United States.”

Qualcomm also said it filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple “infringes the same six patents in the complaint filed in the ITC. ”

The complaint seeks damages and injunctive relief.

Reuters reported that in response to Qualcomm’s moves, Apple referred journalists to its earlier comments on the long-running dispute with Qualcomm which accuse Qualcomm of unfairly imposing what Apple calls a “tax” on Apple devices using Qualcomm chips.

“Qualcomm’s inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards,” said Don Rosenberg, general counsel of Qualcomm.

“The patents we are asserting represent six important technologies, out of a portfolio of thousands, and each is vital to iPhone functions.

“Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple’s infringement of six of our patented technologies.”