Qualcomm asks the ITC to ban U.S. imports of the Apple iPhone
Apple and Qualcomm are in the middle of a battle over royalties. Last month, Apple decided to stop paying royalties to the chipmaker until the mess is straightened out. Needless to say, that did not go over terribly well in San Diego where Qualcomm is headquartered. As a result, the latter is asking the International Trade Commission to implement a trade ban on the importation of the Apple iPhone into the U.S. Having a trade ban put into place could jeopardize the U.S. launch of the highly anticipated Apple iPhone 8.
The fight is over patents held by Qualcomm that allow it to charge royalties on smartphones with a high-speed internet connection, even if they don't contain any components with the Qualcomm name on them. Apple says that this is unfair and has been able to extract some measure of revenge by not paying Qualcomm. Now, the latter expects to report lower profits for the second quarter than it previously forecast, all because Apple won't pay.
Apple has filed multiple law suits against Qualcomm over money Apple says it is owed by Qualcomm. The tech titan says that the chip maker has used "exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties" to get to where it is today. Qualcomm last month fired back at Apple with some counterclaims it had added to Apple's complaint. And now Qualcomm has grabbed Apple by the short hairs by threatening to have the ITC ban iPhone imports.
Keep in mind that getting the ITC to order such a ban is a long shot that eventually requires the president to review any Exclusionary Order issued by the agency. In 2013, the ITC ordered a sales ban on the Apple iPhone 3GS, Apple iPhone 4, Apple iPad, Apple iPad 2, and the Apple iPad 3 due to Apple's infringement of certain Samsung patents. However, President Obama vetoed the ban, which was his prerogative as president.