Qualcomm Asks China to Stop Manufacturing and Selling iPhones via New Lawsuits
Qualcomm recently filed lawsuits in China in an attempt to stop Apple from selling and manufacturing iPhones in the country, reports Bloomberg. Much of Apple's iPhone assembly process takes place in China, as does the manufacturing of many iPhone components. China is also an important market for Apple, accounting for 22.5 percent of Apple's sales in 2016.
In a filing with the Beijing intellectual property court on September 29, Qualcomm claimed patent infringement and requested injunctive relief. "Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them," said a Qualcomm spokesperson about the filing.
According to Qualcomm, the lawsuits are based on three non-standard essential patents covering power management and the Force Touch technology that Apple uses in its touch screens.
Qualcomm and Apple have been embroiled in an escalating legal battle since the beginning of this year after the FTC complained that Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive licensing practices. Shortly after, Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion and accused the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and failing to pay for quarterly rebates.
Apple stopped paying licensing fees to Qualcomm at that time, as did Apple suppliers. Apple maintains that Qualcomm charges excessive licensing fees by requesting a percentage of an iPhone's entire value, while Qualcomm says its technology is "at the heart of every iPhone."
Qualcomm has since countersued and filed several patent infringement lawsuits against Apple. Qualcomm has also asked the United States International Trade Commission to block imports of some iPhone and iPad models.
Qualcomm is also facing an FTC lawsuit in the U.S. for using anticompetitive tactics to remain the dominant supplier of baseband processors for smartphones and was recently fined $773 million in Taiwan for violating antitrust rules.