Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm just went up another notch as Qualcomm is now pushing to ban the sale and import of iPhones in the United States. According to recent reports, Qualcomm has asked the US International Trade Commission to investigate the alleged patent infringement Qualcomm is accusing Apple of.
The request to the ITC is the latest and most serious development in the ongoing legal dispute between the tech giants. Both companies already sued and counter-sued each other this year, but Qualcomm took things to the next level by involving the ITC.
Qualcomm chips are used in several consumer electronics, and wants Apple to give back iPhones that infringe on six patents banned from being shipped to the United States.
Qualcomm also asked the ITC to investigate the iPhones that use chips made by Qualcomm’s competitors, including Intel. The company expects the investigation to start in August and the trial to start in 2018.
According to their lawsuit, Qualcomm claims the tech that Apple infringed allows high performance on the iPhones and extends the battery life as well. The company also illustrated an infograph to show how its tech is used in iPhones.
In addition to stopping Apple from using its tech, Qualcomm also wants a court order to be issued, banning the further sale of iPhones that infringe on their tech that have already been imported. In addition, Qualcomm also wants an order to stop the distribution, warehousing, demonstrating, advertising, and marketing of the imported iPhones in the United States.
Dean Rosenberg, the executive VP and general counsel of Qualcomm, said in the company’s press release that Apple continues to use their product without paying for it.
In addition to asking the ITC to investigate the matter, Qualcomm also filed a complaint in the US district Court in Southern California about the infringement of the six patents. It is believed that the court will wait until after the ITC investigation before making a ruling on the case. If the court does not stay the case, it is expected to go to trial in two years.
Qualcomm refused to comment when asked if the company will settle the dispute with Apple out of court.
Even though the investigation may eventually lead to the ban of iPhones, it isn’t expected to impact the sale of the iPhone 8, at least immediately, because the trial isn’t expected to begin until next year. Even if the ITC finds in favor of Qualcomm, injunction orders typically don’t go into effect until 18-21 months after the complaint was filed.