The patent licensing spat between Qualcomm and Apple has taken a new turn after plans for an import ban application have leaked. The two companies are currently having an disagreement after Apple decided to stop paying billions of dollars in licensing fees.
Qualcomm is preparing to apply directly to the US International Trade Commission, which is responsible for regulating imports. The iPhone falls under the ITC’s purview as it is manufactured in Asia and shipped into America. Ideally, this would lead to a faster response instead of taking the issue to the court system; which could take years to come to a resolution.
Apple decided that it would stop paying Qualcomm to license its patents earlier this year, which resulted in a massive blow to the company. Qualcomm revised its expected earnings for this year downwards by $500 million; showing just how important Apple’s business was to its bottom line.
Apple’s justification for the move was due to Qualcomm’s unfair licensing terms. Just about every smartphone maker in the world licenses patents from Qualcomm. A situation that has lead to calls of a monopoly. Some companies – like Apple and Samsung – have also accused Qualcomm of using unfair terms in order to benefit its own products.
Qualcomm has not commented on the report as of yet; but it shouldn’t be long before something happens. It’s unlikely that an import ban will be put in place. Instead, this looks more to be a threat to get Apple back to the negotiation table.