Qualcomm requests stop sales of certain iPhone and iPad

To obtain payment of license fees thatApple challenges him, the group Qualcomm finally filed a request with theITC ((International Trade Commission) to try to block the marketing of certain iPhone and iPad on American soil, in addition to filing a complaint with a California court.

The maneuver had been anticipated for several months, insofar as the ITC can generate binding decisions more quickly than the normal course of justice and it is not rare that the holders of intellectual property use this mechanism to force amicable negotiation rather than embarking on a costly trial with an uncertain outcome.

The request is more specifically aimed at blocking the sales of Apple mobile devices that include modems other than those of Qualcomm, i.e. those incorporating an Intel modem, the firm's other supplier to the apple since 2016.

For Apple, the action presents a certain danger but distant. An ITC decision will not come before 16 to 18 months and the Cupertino company will always have the means to oppose an unfavorable decision on appeal, giving it time to adapt its strategy.

In its complaint, Qualcomm puts forward 6 patents that Apple would exploit in its mobile devices without paying fees. The group insists that these are not essential patents and that it is therefore free to decide the amount of license fees relating to them, without having to go through the FRAND framework (Fair, Reasonable And Non Discriminatory) essential patents.

True to its initial argument, Qualcomm reiterates that the 6 patents play an important role in the success of the iPhone by bringing substantial optimizations, particularly in terms of energy consumption.

But by seeking to block only the sales of iPhone and iPad equipped with competing modems, in order not to damage its own business of selling modems, the San Diego company takes the risk of being accused of a monopolistic attitude.

Qualcomm explains for its part that requesting the blocking of all iPhones and iPads, with or without its modems, would have significant repercussions on the entire telecom market, which is not in the public interest. An argument that clashes in this battle of private interests.