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Mobile/Wireless Components

US to Examine Qualcomm's Complaints Against Apple

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is reviewing a Qualcomm complaint that aims to ban the sale of Apple iPhones and iPads that use modems not designed by the chipmaker in the US, the ITC said Tuesday.

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) filed the initial complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on July 7, 2017. "Qualcomm is requesting that the ITC issue a Limited Exclusion Order to bar importation, and a Cease and Desist Order to bar further sales and marketing in the United States, of iPhones and iPads that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm's affiliates, the chipmaker said in a statement Tuesday.

Apple has been using modems from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) -- as well as Qualcomm -- since the introduction of the iPhone 7 in 2016.

The ITC said in a statement Tuesday that it will make a decision "at the earliest practicable time" and has set a target date for completing its investigation within the next 45 days.

In addition to the complaint filed with the ITC, on July 7, 2017, Qualcomm filed suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple infringes the same six patents referenced in the complaint filed with the ITC. Qualcomm has also sued Apple for patent infringement in Germany. (See Qualcomm Seeks Ban on iPhone Imports.)

All of this further ratchets up the legal disputes between Apple and Qualcomm. Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion at the beginning of 2017, saying it has been overcharged by the chipmaker for years. Qualcomm, meanwhile, says Apple's actions have goaded its contract manufacturers into withholding royalty payments. (See Qualcomm Takes Q3 Pummeling From Apple.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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