Qualcomm demands iPhone ban in China

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iPhone 8
Qualcomm wants China to stop making iPhones.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s bitter legal feud with Qualcomm is being taken to an all-new level over in China.

The San Diego-based chip company has filed a lawsuit with a Beijing intellectual property court demanding all sales and production of the iPhone to be banned.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Qualcomm is claiming patent infringement and seeking injunctive relief. Christine Trimble, a Qualcomm spokeswoman, said that “Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them.”

Qualcomm vs Apple

Qualcomm’s lawsuit comes right as Apple is trying to ramp up iPhone X and iPhone 8 production leading into the holiday shopping season. Most of Apple’s iPhone production is done in China. It would be a huge blow to supply if a legal battle caused a pause.

The two companies have been fighting in courts during most of 2017. Apple filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Qualcomm earlier this year asserted it abuses its position to make Apple pay an unfair amount for essential patents.

In its new lawsuit in China, Qualcomm says its case is based on three non-standard essential patents. The patents cover the technology behind Force Touch and power management features.

Most of Qualcomm’s profits come from licensing tech patents to other companies, even though most of its sales from smartphone chipmaking. Apple stopped making payments for some of Qualcomm’s patented tech earlier this year saying it would wait for the courts to decide what is fair.

The lawsuit in China was filed on Sept. 29 but the court documents have not been made public yet. Qualcomm’s legal attack suffered a blow earlier this week after Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission fined Qualcomm $773 million for antitrust violations over the last seven years.