ITC Judge says Apple infringed on one Qualcomm patent, but he will not ban U.S. iPhone imports

ITC Judge says Apple infringed on one Qualcomm patent, but he will not ban U.S. iPhone imports
A U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled today that the Apple iPhone infringed on one of a trio of Qualcomm patents. But even with that in mind, Judge Thomas Pender said that banning U.S. imports of the iPhone would be against the public interest. That comment mirrors a statement made by ITC staff nearly two weeks ago. At that time, these staff members said that banning imports of the iPhone in the states would negatively impact competition in the modem chip market. Apple isn't completely off the hook as far as an import ban is concerned. The full commission must review Judge Pender's ruling and it is the entire ITC that has the last word in this matter.

Both Apple and Qualcomm have been taking each other to court over various matters. One issue brought up by Apple is whether Qualcomm's royalty fees on its standard-essential patents are too high. These are patents that are essential in the production of a product, like a smartphone. Patents so designated are supposed to be licensed in a Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory manner (FRAND). On its part, Qualcomm says that Apple had directed its suppliers to stop paying royalties to Qualcomm, and the amount of these unpaid royalties range from $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion according to Matt Larson of Bloomberg Intelligence.

Apple argues that blocking imports of the Intel powered iPhone into the U.S. will halt the competition between Intel and Qualcomm that is necessary for the development of 5G. Qualcomm says that blocking imports of the iPhone into the U.S. will ultimately put pressure on Apple to make sure that Qualcomm gets paid the money it is owed by Apple's suppliers.

From 2011-2015, Apple used Qualcomm modem chips on the iPhone on an exclusive basis. In 2016 and 2017, both Qualcomm and Intel supplied modem chips to Apple. That changed this year when the latest trio of iPhone models was unveiled earlier this month. The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR are all equipped with an Intel modem chip, and that could continue next year. By 2020, Apple could be ready to debut 5G connectivity for the iPhone using modem chips designed by Apple itself.

source: Bloomberg

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20 Comments

1. cmdacos

Posts: 3872; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Not surprised at all

3. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Apple has to pay, but Google is footing the bill for them. So Google is indirectly paying Qualcomm. ;-)

13. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Apple is charging Google 9 billion dollars to be the default search engine on Apples iPhones. It's kind of funny how Apple was saying that Google is evil by profiting off of people's search data results. But now Apple is being a hypocrite, and allowing that to happen, and to top it off Apple is profiting from Google's search data results from using their own iPhone customers. I guess it's only okay if Apple gets a cut and approves this to happen.

19. Vokilam

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Stop copy-pasting your garbage. Yes it’s a valid point, but we all read it already several times. You’re annoying.

20. shm224

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

why is that garbage? Is it not hypocritical of Apple to criticize Google's privacy policy and then turns around to facilitate Google's privacy violation for profit?

2. OneLove123

Posts: 841; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

If it's samsung or someone else other Apple. They would've been banned.

4. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

So true. Any other company would have had their entire product portfolio banned, specially if it was Apple seeking that ban.

12. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2293; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I believe Apple has requested a ban on Samsung products but was denied three times.

15. shm224

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Apple failed to ban Samsung products because there was no infringement. The USITC did ban Apple product, but Obama reversed the ban on the ground of public interest.

16. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Yes because Apple lost

5. cocoy

Posts: 455; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Definitely, imposing a ban on Apple is like hurting your country. Imagine how much income will gone into waste and taxes to be collected will not be realized if you ban Apple. Only a dumb person will do that considering that Apple is a US company.

6. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Apple pays some of the least amount of taxes because they hide there money offshore. You must be high. Banning Apple products would only hurt Apple. Apple has zero effect on US GDP because Apple doesn't make any products here. They Re almost all sources from China or Korea, Singapore, Philippines and other places overseas. This is wrong. Just like when Obama overturned a ruling that Apple infringed on Samsung patents. This is wrong. Apple is being allowed to screw other companiws over. Qualcomm, just pay me $5M, I will solve your Apple problem.

9. cocoy

Posts: 455; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

According to you, a real known apple hater who once want Apple to cease its existence. Are you from the treasury department or IRS to know if their contribution to the country is signicant or not? Fanboys like you is like cancer to the tech society.

17. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

http://fortune.com/2018/01/18/apple-bonuses-money-us-350-billion-taxes-trump/ This is how Apple avoids paying taxes and even Trump frowned on it. It's just fact vruh. I'm not a fan boy of any brand whatsoever. That's the problem with idiots, they actually don't knlw a fan from a person who just likes tech.

14. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

You do know that the government makes money on every iPhone imported to the US and the state collects taxes on every iPhone sold.

7. mootu

Posts: 1409; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

So because Apple is a US company they can do whatever they please as there would be no repurcussions?

8. OneLove123

Posts: 841; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Basically, yes. Most of the rich people in America has stocks in Apple.

18. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

That's not true. A lot of them maybe. Not most of them though.

10. slashas

Posts: 124; Member since: Jul 17, 2017

Band the products with leaving option of removal when patent stuff is settled. That’s all all happy and iPhones are back to the market, without ban Apple won’t do anything...

11. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

"Apple argues that blocking imports of the Intel powered iPhone into the U.S. will halt the competition between Intel and Qualcomm that is necessary for the development of 5G" Good excuse Apple, it's rich coming from the company that slows down tech more than anyone else. You just want your phones sold and the competition between Intel and Qualcomm helps you get better prices/deals.

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