FORBES: US Trade Agency Will Investigate Apple Over Claims Of Violating Qualcomm’s Patents




August 9, 2017 | By: Aaron Tilley. 

The United States International Trade Commission said on Tuesday that it’s agreed to start an investigation into Qualcomm’s claims that Apple has violated its patents in devices like the iPhone 7. The federal trade agency can bar products from entering the US.

In early July, the San Diego, California-based mobile chipmaker asked the ITC to stop further sales of iPhones equipped with cellular baseband modem processors made by chip rival Intel. Qualcomm said Apple violated potentially six of its patents in how it uses the Intel modems. Apple began using Intel cellular modems for some versions of the iPhone 7 launched last year, with the remaining supplied by Qualcomm.

“Qualcomm is pleased with the ITC’s decision to investigate Apple’s unfair trade practices and the unauthorized importation of products using Qualcomm’s patents,” said Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg in a statement. “We look forward to the ITC’s expeditious investigation of Apple’s ongoing infringement of our intellectual property and the accelerated relief that the Commission can provide.”

 The trade agency said it will make a determination “at the earliest practicable time.”

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. Intel declined to comment.

Last month, a lobbying group representing Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook filed comment with the ITC, arguing against the trade agency taking action against Apple. “If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices,” Ed Black, the CEO of the group, called the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said in a statement. “What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices.”

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