Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Qualcomm and Apple square off in second ITC trial

New Jersey readers may be interested to learn that another trial involving Qualcomm Inc. and Apple Inc. kicked off before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17. The two technology giants are squabbling over Apple's right to import certain iPhone models into the U.S. This is the second patent infringement case between the companies to go to trial this year.

The current case involves three instances of alleged patent infringement on the part of Apple. According to Qualcomm, which is the largest mobile phone chipmaker in the world, Apple is violating its patents by importing several newer iPhone models that contain modem chips made by Intel Corp. The key accusations involve the way the Intel chips handle radio signals and the way Apple processors put iPhones into sleep mode.

In a previous trial, a federal attorney found that Apple violated Qualcomm's patent on battery-saving technology. As a result, the attorney recommended that the judge ban some iPhones containing Intel chips from entering the U.S. market. However, the attorney also recommended that iPhones with new 5G technology be allowed to enter the American market in the name of competitiveness. ITC staff acts as a neutral third party in these cases, and administrative law judges are not required to follow their recommendations. However, they frequently do so. A decision in the first case is expected by the end of September. It is not yet known when a decision in the second case will be issued.

Patent law cases can be complicated and protracted. Companies facing patent issues might benefit from seeking the advice of attorneys familiar with intellectual property claims. These attorneys could carefully review the situation and recommend the best approach to the issue at hand.

Source: First Post, "Qualcomm Takes On Apple Seeking Iphone Import Ban As Second ITC Trial Begins", Sept. 18, 2018

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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