Just days after winning the patent infringement ruling against Apple in China, Qualcomm has a second legal victory. This time in Germany. A German court has ruled in favor of the Chip maker and found that Apple has infringed upon Qualcomm’s hardware patent.
“Two respected courts in two different jurisdictions just in the past two weeks have now confirmed the value of Qualcomm’s patents and declared Apple an infringer, ordering a ban on iPhones in the important markets of Germany and China.”
Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel.
Apple-Qualcomm legal battle has panned out wider and longer, but it seems like it’s only getting started. The smartphone maker is suing Qualcomm in the United States for the whopping $1 billion.
Apple has a counter lawsuit against Qualcomm for $145 million in China. In turn, Qualcomm is facing a hefty $1.2 billion fine in the European Union for influencing the market by bribing Apple to use only its chips for iPhones. In the US, trade regulators have sided with Apple and found no wrongdoing.
The German court ruled that iPhones using both Intel and Qorvo chips violated Qualcomm’s patent on the battery power saving feature called Envelope tracking.
Following the ruling, Apple has agreed to stop selling iPhone 7 and 8 in its Germany stores. The ban on sales will not affect the newest iPhones, XR, Xs, and Xs Max. Furthermore, the legal restriction will only apply to the Apple stores, and not any third-party stores that sell the Apple products.
“We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal,”
The phone maker is appealing against the court verdict. Meanwhile, Qualcomm needs to post a bond of $ 765.9 million for the court to enforce the ruling.
Qualcomm’s 5G Modem chip
Qualcomm has its reasons to go after Apple. And it’s more than just the software and hardware patents that Apple has been accused of infringing. For one thing, the iPhone maker won’t be using Qualcomm’s 5G Modem chip for its next generation of iPhones. For years, Apple has used Qualcomm’s chips for its smartphones.
Furthermore, Qualcomm is unhappy with Apple for not paying enough for its chips. Apple, meanwhile, feels that the chip maker is suppressing innovations by having a virtual monopoly in the cellular Modem chip market.
Following this cat and mouse game, Apple’s shares are down by 2.52 percent, and the company is trading at $156.83 at closing on Dec 20.
Similarly, Qualcomm’s shares are down by 0.56 percent, and the company is trading at $56.37 at closing on Dec 20.
“Competition authorities around the world have repeatedly found Qualcomm’s licensing practices unlawful, yet Qualcomm continues to try to achieve the same results through a campaign of patent lawsuits.”
Steven Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel.
Amid this ugly legal battle, Apple will probably use Intel’s cellular 5G Modem chip or make its own for their new mobile devices.
For now, we are waiting for the hearing on Apple’s appeal in the court in China, and now in Germany.