Qualcomm vs. Apple Sales ban for iPhones in Germany

In the patent dispute between Qualcomm and Apple, the San Diego-based chip manufacturer achieved an important success before the Munich Regional Court: Qualcomm can stop the sale of some iPhone models and in return has to deposit 668.4 million euros in security.

In its patent dispute with Apple, the chip company Qualcomm has won a ban on the sale of several iPhone models in Germany. On Thursday, the Munich Regional Court found that Apple had infringed a Qualcomm patent. Qualcomm can provisionally enforce the judgement against a security deposit of 668.4 million euros each for two proceedings involving the patent. This concerns the iPhone 7 and 8 model series as well as the iPhone X from last year. Apple will also pay damages to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm wanted to quickly implement sales ban

Qualcomm had stressed in advance that the group would quickly implement any sales ban.  The controversial patent concerns the so-called envelope tracking of the modem chip. From Qualcomm's point of view, it is not possible to circumvent this patent by changing the software. The manufacturer Qorvo, which supplies the power supply chip for the iPhones sold in Germany, claims to use its own solution for envelope tracking that does not infringe Qualcomm's patent.

The court ruled accordingly on the basis of Qualcomm's description of the implementation of the technology in Apple devices. In further proceedings regarding a software patent for details of the search function on the iPhone, the court initially made no decision.

Qualcomm is suing Apple in Germany in more than a dozen cases in Munich and Mannheim. So far, one case has been stayed and one case has been dismissed.