According to Bloomberg, Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has filed a suit alleging that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is infringing on three of its patents. It is reportedly seeking to stop the sale and manufacture of the iPhone in China.
Apple has called the lawsuit "meritless."
Nonetheless, it would be a huge deal if Qualcomm succeeds in this, the latest action in a long-running legal battle between the companies, centered on royalties that Apple -- along with other smartphone vendors -- pays to Qualcomm. China is the largest smartphone market in the world and still growing. All of Apple's iPhones are made in China by contract manufacturer Foxconn Electronics Inc.
Most commentators are not expecting that Apple will allow the case to escalate to the stage of causing manufacturing problems for the iPhone line. The market in general also seems unconcerned, with Apple shares up $2.32 at $159.31 this Monday.
The legal wranglings between Apple and Qualcomm started in January with the vendor suing the chipmaker for $1 billion in US for overcharging on patent licensing fees, and following up with similar suits in China. Qualcomm filed counterclaims in April and has also complained to the ITC.
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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading