In a decisive ruling this week, a court in Munich has ordered Apple to cease iPhone sales in Germany. The court granted Qualcomm injunction against Apple, which is the second Qualcomm has received this month. A Chinese court granted Qualcomm injunction against just over week ago.
Qualcomm announced the verdict in a press release. Although Apple has appealed to the ruling, the Cuppertino giant has decided to suspend sales of certain iPhone models in Germany. The iPhone models include iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.
However, all iPhone models will still be available online for purchase through carriers and resellers.
The patent violation in question has to do with power-saving feature in smartphones via envelope tracking, which Qualcomm describes as its intellectual property.
Qualcomm’s infringed patent provides a way to mitigate power amplifier power consumption which enables the device to use power more efficiently and extend battery life in smartphones.
The iPhone models that contain components sourced from Intel and supply Qorvo have been deemed in violation of this IP.
Apple of course did not take lightly to this ruling, just as it did not during the last ruling. Apple continued to remark on Qualcomm’s questionable tactics and called this campaign a “desperate attempt”.
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.
Intel joinedin to answer Qualcomm’s claim to intellectual property by saying that Qualcomm seeksonly to drive competition out of the market for its own benefit. Intel believes that such lawsuits only go far to “reduce innovation and raise prices”.
Qualcomm’s goal is not to vindicate its intellectual property rights, but rather to drive competition out of the market for premium modem chips, and to defend a business model that ultimately harms consumers. As we’ve noted before, in the last several years, Qualcomm has been fined nearly a billion dollars in China, $850million in Korea, $1.2 billion by the European Commission and $773 million in Taiwan (later reduced in a settlement) for anti-competitive practices.
Although the injunction is not effective until Qualcomm posts the required bonds, Apple has voluntarily suspended sales of the said iPhone models.
It’s the clash of the titans here. We’ll keep you updated on new developments.
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