Qualcomm suffers a minor setback in a patent fight with Apple

qualcomm apple fight tightens

A U.S. International Trade Commission judge, Thomas Pender, declined the import ban of Apple iPhones sought by Qualcomm. In simple words, it means that Apple Inc. will continue to sell its iPhones in the U.S. without any glitch. Qualcomm sought an import ban of Apple iPhones with Intel’s software chip inside it.

Referring to the Judge’s opinion, the unhappy Qualcomm General Counsel Donald Rosenberg said in a statement, “We are pleased the ALJ found infringement of our patented technology, but it makes no sense to then allow infringement to continue by denying an import ban.”

Judge Pender has however found that Apple clearly infringed one of three Qualcomm patents in the case. If the Commission, which has the final say, decides to go along with the judge’s findings, it would eliminate Qualcomm’s biggest bargaining ‘chip’ it could have used against Apple.

“Qualcomm has continued to unfairly demand royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with to protect their monopoly,” Apple said in a statement. “We’re glad the ITC stopped Qualcomm’s attempt to damage competition and ultimately harm innovators and U.S. consumers.”

Qualcomm will pursue 40 other patent-infringement cases brought against Apple globally while looking forward to the full Commission decision, Rosenberg added. However, on the contrary, if the Commission decides to uphold the judge’s infringement finding, it could greatly help the chip-maker who is seeking the district court to have Apple pay the patent royalties.