May 04, 2017 07:41 AM EDT
It seems that South Korean tech giant Samsung is no longer the favorite courtroom opponent of Apple. The two bitter smartphone rivals are again partners as Samsung manufactures OLED screens for the speculated iPhone 8. However, if it is up to chipmaker Qualcomm, the 10th anniversary iPhone should not be allowed to be imported from Asia where it is being assembled to be sold in the U.S.
9To5Mac reports that Qualcomm is seeking a ban on iPhone importation to the U.S. The prohibition stems from a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission that accused the maker of Snapdragon chips of forcing the Cupertino-based tech giant Qualcomm’s baseband chips for higher patent royalties. After the FTC filed the monopoly complaint, Apple filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm.
In March, Qualcomm filed a countersuit against Apple. The chipmaker insists the claims of the Apple lawsuit lacked basis, and the company accuses Apple of misrepresentation of facts. But Qualcomm hopes, like Samsung which still has a lot of ongoing court battles against Apple in different countries, its business with the iPhone manufacturer would continue as usual.
Bloomberg reports that Qualcomm holds patents that allow the chipmaker to charge a percentage on the price tag of every modern smartphone that is capable of high-speed data, whether the phone manufacturer uses its chips or not. Apple insists the system is not fair because the chipmaker is using its licensing leverage to help Qualcomm’s semiconductor unit illegally.
In April, Apple stopped making technology license payments to Qualcomm. If Apple would convince the International Trade Commission to ban the importation of iPhones to the U.S., it would affect the company’s finances since 40 percent of total sales of the tech giant are from iPhones sold in the U.S.. It could sell the iPhones in other markets, but because Apple iPhones are pricey, it would not sell as fast as in other territories.
The Tech Portal notes that Qualcomm opted to bring the case to ITC, based in Washington, instead of federal district courts. The ITC is known for being fast in making decisions compared to traditional courts. Apple is also moving the release of the iPhone 8 to as late as 2018 because of issues with OLED screen supply.
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