Qualcomm is urging U.S. trade regulators to reverse a judge ruling and ban the import of iPhones in the United States. In September last year, an administrative judge at the ITC found Apple guilty of violating one of Qualcomm’s patents but he did not impose an import ban on the iPhone.
The judge, Thomas Pender, reasoned that handing out an import ban would give Qualcomm a monopoly which would be bad for consumers.
The Reuters report says that court documents reveal that Apple has found a software fix to circumvent the Qualcomm patent in question. However, it would take the company six months to ensure the fix satisfies the regulators and sell its existing inventory. So, Apple has asked the ITC to delay any possible import ban on the iPhones until at least then if the regulatory body decides to go ahead and reverse the decision.
Qualcomm is now arguing that the argument is no longer valid and has asked the court to ban the import of iPhones in the US.
In a filing late on Friday, Qualcomm argued that Apple’s disclosure of a fix undermined the reasoning in Pender’s decision and that the Intel-chipped phones should be banned while Apple deploys its fix.
“Pender recommended against a remedy on the assumption that the (Qualcomm) patent would preclude Apple from using Intel as a supplier for many years and that no redesign was feasible,” Qualcomm wrote. “Apple now admits—more than seven months after the hearing—that the alleged harm is entirely avoidable.”
The major patent battle between Qualcomm and Apple is set to take place in mid-April in San Diego. Until then, Qualcomm is simply using its vast set of patents to sue Apple for infringement and cause it trouble so that it backs out from its original lawsuit.[Via Reuters]