The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm is heating up.
Qualcomm plans to file a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission to ask that imports of iPhones and iPads without Qualcomm chipsets be halted. Qualcomm also wants to block sales of any non-Qualcomm iPhone and iPad devices already in the U.S. The complaint will be filed with the ITC tomorrow, July 7th.
Earlier this year, Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for $1 billion, alleging that Qualcomm has used its position as the maker of cellphone chips to ask for “onerous, unreasonable, and costly” patent licensing terms. Qualcomm argues that Apple is infringing on six of its patents related to wireless tech in the iPhone and iPad. However, Qualcomm is limiting its ban request to non-Qualcomm devices in order to avoid causing the major economic impact that banning sales of all iPhones and iPads would cause.
“You want to not affect in unnecessary ways competitive conditions in the U.S. economy,” explained Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel, to the Wall Street Journal. “We're trying to toe the line. We believe in the public interest.”
An attempt to have the import and sale of select iPhone and iPad devices is a big move from Qualcomm, and the company could be trying to show Apple that it’s serious about this legal battle. Even if the ITC did agree to a ban, it could be a while before the effects of a ban would be seen, as lawyer Lyle Vander Schaaf explains to the WSJ that the ITC typically takes about 16 months to reach a decision. Plus, Apple could always appeal.