In an effort to continue to charge Apple for the use of its patents in mainland China, Qualcomm has filed lawsuits against the company with the end goal of stopping the production and sale of iPhones in China. It is where most iPhones and its parts are made, and its over-a-billion population easily makes it one of the largest consumer markets for Apple products. The latest lawsuit is the biggest move from the chipmaker in its ongoing legal tussle against Apple.
The latest lawsuit, filed late last month in intellectual property court in Beijing, suggested that Apple violated three Qualcomm patents used to manage device power supplies and support touchscreen technology.
More to the point, lawyers said it was unlikely either firm would allow the case to get to an injunction, speculating that Qualcomm's main aim was to increase its leverage over Apple at the negotiating table over any final settlement. In response, Apple stopped paying licensing revenues to Qualcomm.
Currently, the firm is attempting to get a ban on Intel-powered iPhones in the U.S., claiming that iPhones using Intel's 4G wireless chips are effectively using six Qualcomm patents "unfairly" and "unlawfully".
The inventions were described as "a few examples of the many Qualcomm technologies that Apple uses to improve its devices and increase its profits" by Christine Trimble, a Qualcomm spokesperson. As such, Qualcomm had no obligations to license these patents.
Meanwhile, as for Apple, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant maintained that Qualcomm's claims were without merit.
Apple then claimed that Qualcomm had repeatedly been found "guilty of abusing their position" by industry officials in several countries.
The iPhone maker could also seek to have the patent cases held up by the Beijing IP court while the patent invalidation decision was being made.