Qualcomm’s $1.5 billion bond halts certain iPhone sales in Germany

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Qualcomm patents
Qualcomm has been battling Apple since early 2017.
Photo: Qualcomm

Qualcomm has posted a bond of 1.34 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to enforce a German court order halting several iPhone models from selling in the country.

Apple is appealing the court’s December 20, 2018 ruling, although it declined to comment on Qualcomm’s latest move.

The ruling against Apple came after a German court ruled that it was infringing on a Qualcomm-owned patent. In the aftermath of the ruling, Apple stopped selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Apple Stores in Germany.

Apple had hoped to circumvent the iPhone ban by making an iOS modification in the country, which it believed stopped it from infringing on at least one of the patents named in the suit. However, the patent infringement which lost Apple the case was a separate one which helps iPhones save battery while sending and receiving wireless signals.

At the time, Apple told CNBC that:

“Qualcomm’s campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn’t do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior. We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal. All iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany. During the appeal process, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available at Apple’s 15 retail stores in Germany. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available in all our stores.”

The case in Germany mirrors a similar ban for certain iPhone models in China. Even though these refer to older iPhone models, these moves nonetheless cost Apple millions of dollars per day. This is an attempt by Qualcomm (and, potentially, a very successful one) at getting Apple to settle.

The two companies have been battling since early 2017. They are scheduled to meet in court in the U.S. in April.

Source: Reuters