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Qualcomm Lawsuits Seek Crippling Apple iPhone Production And Sales Ban In China

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Qualcomm

Apple's ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm is heating up today in a serious way.

Qualcomm Inc. filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker's biggest shot at Apple Inc.so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight, Bloomberg News reports. Bloomberg notes that the company's suits are based on three "non-standard essential patents" that cover power management and a touch-screen tech like 3D Touch used in Apple's current iPhones. Apple has accused Qualcomm of failing to pay it $1 billion in rebates that it says it is owed. The Cupertino company has historically used Qualcomm's modems in its phones, though it's recently switched to Intel chips for that objective. It suggested the effort was opportunistic, because Qualcomm hadn't brought up the patents during negotiations and had only issued them recently. Canaccord Genuity Analyst Mike Walkley says that there's little to no precedent for the Chinese court to take action at the request of an American company. Rather, this mostly seems to be an attempt to get back at Apple for many lawsuit it's filed against Qualcomm around the globe.

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Apple is now rushing to manufacture as many iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models during its busiest sales period of the year. It's been repeatedly fined for similar behaviors, with the latest ruling coming down yesterday, when it was fined $774 million by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission. Qualcomm is also asking US authorities to ban the import of some versions of the iPhone, arguing they infringe on its patents.

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