Economy

Apple Takes Another Hit as Qualcomm's Push for iPhone Bans Moves Forward

Apple Takes Another Hit as Qualcomm's Push for iPhone Bans Moves Forward”

On Thursday, Qualcomm made the injunction official by posting a bond to cover potential damages incurred by Apple should the judgment be overturned or amended on appeal.

German reseller Gravis said it was still selling the iPhone 7 and 8 models at its stores as well as online.

The German case is Qualcomm's third major effort to secure a ban on Apple's lucrative iPhones over patent-infringement allegations after similar moves in the USA and China, and is part of a global patent spat between the two companies.

Apple, however, sees the latter differently and announces that only in the 15 German Apple stores the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are no longer available, but their sale was already suspended two weeks ago anyway.

By posting bonds of over $1.5 billion required by a German court in a December 20 ruling, the semiconductor giant forced Apple to halt local sales of a number of older iPhones found to be in infringement of some of Qualcomm's patents relating to the handsets' power-saving technology.

Apple had said it was appealing the decision.

In its previous statement on the decision, Apple had said it would continue to offer all of its phones at thousands of retail and carrier locations across Germany, a direct contradiction to Qualcomm's interpretation of the order.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court in China sided with Qualcomm's argument that Apple's iDevices infringe its patents related to resizing images and using touch-based navigation apps. It marks the third such step taken by the chip-maker to ensure a ban on the infringing iPhones amidst its lengthy legal battle with Apple.

Reuters has quoted a German lawyer, not involved in the case, who says Apple has a point.

"These third parties are still free to sell the (affected) iPhones, and they sell the majority of iPhones", Ruting said, adding, "the question of a settlement will be driven by the USA litigation and not the German case".

However, Apple said all of its iPhone models remained on sale in China, following a software update from Apple and pending a further legal ruling there. Apple still intends to appeal that ban, so the bond is needed to compensate Apple for lost sales, should it win that appeal.



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