A jury found that Apple infringed on three key Qualcomm patents in iPhone software. Their legal battle is far from over, as patent lawyers chooses can explain. According to Bloomberg, last June said that Qualcomm and Apple are involved with more than 50 different legal proceedings in 16 different jurisdictions in six countries.
Apple and Qualcomm are due in court on April 15, 2019, when their patent dispute goes to trial before a Federal judge. Apple won a victory this month when it learned it would get to limit damages in that case to the period after Qualcomm filed its countersuit.
Qualcomm just wrapped up a court date with the Federal Trade Commission with regulators alleging that Qualcomm uses anti-competitive practices in how it licenses its patents. The case is in a judge’s hands now, though a quick verdict is not expected. Already this case has had a number of setbacks for each side as the other tries to fine-tune a winning legal strategy.
Meanwhile, the U.S. International Trade Commission is reviewing a September ruling that Apple violated one of Qualcomm’s patents while recommending against an import ban on iPhones.The ITC is a specialized tribunal that has the authority to ban the importation of items into America. Officials at the ITC will not only look at whether any infringement took place, but whether it should impose an import ban, as Qualcomm is demanding. A decision is expected in late SpringOne reason the Qualcomm-Apple dispute is getting a ton of media attention these days is due to a pair of legal wins Qualcomm scored overseas during the 2018 holiday season.
That was when a Chinese court banned the sale of iPhones in that country, though the ban doesn’t impact recent models like the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Apple is in the process of appealing the ruling. Because the patents center around software in its operating system, Apple has said that software updates can bring its older iPhones into compliance with the Chinese court’s ruling. No wonder Apple has been busy with the recent increase in iOS updates that have come out during December. At present, Apple’s iPhones remain on sale in China.
Qualcomm also successfully got limitations on the sale of iPhones enforced in Germany. In response, Apple decided to only use Qualcomm modems in their German iPhones to get around the ban.
It remains to be seen if other countries will follow suit or not.