Following a request from Qualcomm by a Chinese court to ban the sale of some of its iPhones, the Munich court in Germany also supported Qualcomm in another patent lawsuit, announcing a ban on the import and sale of some of its models, including the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8. Like China, the ban does not cover Apple dealer channels already in circulation in Germany.
Under the ban, all iPhones involving Intel chips and Qorvo chips, another Apple supplier, were banned from selling. Apples share price fell nearly 2% that day.
Some models of German stores were suspended during the appeal period
This is Qualcomms second victory in a patent lawsuit with Apple. But Apple will have an opportunity to appeal. In a statement, Apple has said it has an appeal plan. Judge Matthias Zigann of the Munich court said the ruling would not take effect immediately if Apple appealed.
However, Apple said in a statement that in the appeal process, its 15 retail stores in Germany will stop selling the iPhone 7 and 8 models, while other new models, including the iPhone XS, the iPhone XSMax and the iPhone XR, will continue to sell. All models of third-party channels will continue to be sold.
Unlike suing patents in China and the United States, Qualcomm is suing Apples iPhone in Germany for a patent called Envelopetracking, which involves Intel and supplier Qorvo chips. This function enables mobile phones to save power when transmitting and receiving wireless signals.
In its statement, Apple once again expressed despair over Qualcomms lawsuit. Qualcomms strategy, both in court and in its daily business, undermines innovation and the interests of its customers, the statement said. Qualcomm insists on imposing huge patent fees on jobs they havent done, which have been investigated by global governments.
The wording of Apples statement is more stringent than in previous times. Michael Baker, director of intellectual property rights at Qorvo, its supplier, also issued a statement saying: We believe that our storm tracking chip does not infringe Qualcomms patent rights. If the court considers all the evidence, the judge will make a different decision. Unfortunately, the chip inventors and designers who participated in the hearings did not have the opportunity to testify and to provide other evidence to refute Qualcomms complaint.
Baker also said that the International Trade Commission had decided that Qorvos packet tracking chip did not infringe Qualcomms patent. We dont think the decision of the German court will affect our business of supplying Apple. Baker said.
Qualcomms goal is not to protect its intellectual property rights, but to suppress its competitors in the high-end baseband chip market to maintain its business model, but it will cause extreme harm to consumers, said Steven Rodgers, Intels chief legal officer.
Modified software to circumvent infringement
Last July, Qualcomm filed lawsuits against Apple in Mannheim and Munich, Germany. Lin Wei, senior partner of Daxiao Law Firm, told First Financial Journalist: Qualcomm may have hundreds or more patents to sue. It uses different patents to sue in various countries, hoping to collect more licensing fees.
It is understood that almost all the iPhones sold in Europe use Intels baseband chip, Qualcomm believes that this infringes Qualcomms patent. Qualcomm holds many basic patents of 3G and 4G. Whoever chip Apple uses will involve these patents. Qualcomm seeks to ban and counteract them. Lin Wei told First Financial Journalist.
On the other hand, the monopoly position of Qualcomm in high-end baseband chips has also led to the investigation of relevant departments. The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm in California next month.
Apple has also taken measures to circumvent intellectual property infringement in Germany. According to the Financial Times, Apple has fine-tuned some of its iPhone software in Germany in an attempt to bypass Qualcomms patent dispute. Software modifications to circumvent legal disputes were rare in Apples operations before.
Qualcomms lawsuit against Apple in Germany includes several patents related to software, such as iOS search and address book, shortcut and Spotlight. Lawyers believe that software modification is relatively easy. However, when it comes to hardware-related intellectual property rights infringement such as battery management, Apple is more difficult to modify the design, such as the specialty of the packet tracking chip involved in this case. Profit technology.
Apple has said last week that it will upgrade its iOS operating system, which sells iPhones in China, starting this week. But so far, all the models of the iPhone are still available in Apple stores in China, and Qualcomm accuses Apple of violating the sales ban. Apple believes that the upgraded software system does not infringe Qualcomm patents. Lawyer Lin Wei told First Financial Journalist that if Qualcomm needed to sue the upgraded Apple system, it would have to resubmit the lawsuit.
Jia Mo, an analyst at Canalys, told First Financial Journalist that the series of patent infringements Apple faces around the world have damaged its brand image. In particular, Apple is actively moving to the high-end line, relying heavily on its brand image, which is not good news for Apple. Jia Mo said.
Source: First Financial Responsible Editor: Xu Meng-NN7485