Qualcomm Wins German IPhone Hardware Case against Apple


A German court has ruled that Apple Inc. infringed a hardware patent that is owned by Qualcomm, a chipmaker, in some of the models of its iPhones.

The judge said that the US company will not be able to sell some of the iPhone models in Germany thar contain an Intel chip from Qorvo, an Apple supplier that violated one of the patents of Qualcomm around so-called envelope tracking. The said feature helps iPhones to save battery power while receiving and sending wireless signals.

Apple said that it is planning to appeal the said decision and that as such, the ban of the sales of the models will not immediately go into effect.

The case in Germany represented the third attempt of Qualcomm to retain a ban on the sales of the iPhones of Apple, having pursued similar patent lawsuits in China and the United States.

Last summer, Qualcomm launched its lawsuit against Apple in Munich. It was seeking both an injunction on iPhone sales as well as some monetary damages.

In an effort to dodge the suit of Qualcomm in China over two software patents, Apple released a software update to iPhones last week. A Chinese court had ruled that Apple must stop the sales of the iPhone 6S to X models, however, the iPhone 7 and 8 continued to be on sale on the Apple China website last Tuesday.

In a statement that was released by Apple today, it stated: “Qualcomm’s campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies.”

It added: “Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn’t do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behaviour.”

In a statement that was also released today, Steven Rodgers, the general counsel of Intel, said that the lawsuits of Qualcomm are likely to force price increases in the industry.

Mike Baker, the chief counsel of Qorvo, stated: “We believe our envelope tracking chip does not infringe the patent in suit, and the court would have come to a different conclusion if it had considered all the evidence.”

He added: “We’re disappointed that the inventor and designer of our chip, who attended the hearing, wasn’t given the opportunity to testify or present other evidence that disproves Qualcomm’s claim of infringement. The International Trade Commission has already determined that our envelope tracker chip does not infringe the US counterpart to the patent at issue in this case.”