Published: Sat, January 05, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Qualcomm gets serious: iPhone sales banned in Germany

Qualcomm gets serious: iPhone sales banned in Germany

Bengaluru/Munich: Qualcomm Inc. said on Thursday it posted security bonds of €1.34 billion ($1.52 billion) in order to be able to enforce a court order that will ban sales of some Apple iPhones in Germany.

The German court found in the semiconductor giant's favor on December 20 and ruled that Apple has infringed upon Qualcomm's power savings technology in the firm's iPhone lineup.

Looking at the wider patent dispute, a similar case has been heard in China, were Apple has been told to stop importing the infringing models while Qualcomm is also pushing the case in the US.

Apple has suffered another blow in its global patent battle with Qualcomm as it was forced to pull older iPhones from its shelves in Germany. It also said the court has ordered Apple to recall infringing iPhones from all third party re-sellers in Germany.

The court set the large sum, as it could be the amount awarded to Apple in terms of revenue losses if the iPhone maker manages to get the Munich ruling overturned by a higher court.

Apple had earlier said it would pull iPhone 7 and 8 models from its 15 retail stores in Germany when the order came into force. Apple said in a statement back in December.

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"We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal". However, the banned models will still be sold through mobile network carriers and third-party retailers throughout Germany.

Apple declined to comment on Qualcomm's most recent move on Thursday.

Kai Ruting, a German lawyer not involved in the case, said the court order was directed at Apple entities rather than third parties. The bond will be used to fund damages to Apple if the company wins the appeal.

Qualcomm's modem technology has been used in several iterations of the iPhone, but since the iPhone 7, Apple has diversified its supplier base, using Intel chips in some handsets.

Qualcomm has frequently claimed Apple has violated its patents, while Apple says Qualcomm is abusing its dominant position in the market and charging extortionate fees.

The court has also decided that Apple is liable for monetary damages to be determined in the future.

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