In the latest hook in Qualcomm Inc. and Apple Inc.’s extended legal battle, the San Diego-based chipmaker was able to secure a ban on iPhones in Germany found to violate its patents.
The District Court of Munich ruled on Dec. 20 that certain Apple devices using a type of power-saving hardware infringed Qualcomm’s patents. The permanent injunction means that Apple will pull phone models using chips from supplier Qorvo Inc., including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models.
Apple is appealing the ruling, according to Bloomberg. It will still be able to sell its newer models, including the iPhone XS, SX Max and XR.
The ban will be enforced as soon as Qualcomm posts a $765 million bond covering potential damages to Apple if judgment is overturned. Qualcomm expects the process will take a few days. Apple will also have to pay damages to Qualcomm, in an amount yet to be determined.
The ruling in Germany follows a similar decision in China, where a court ruled last week to ban the sale of older iPhone models found to violate Qualcomm’s intellectual property. However, the offending iPhones still haven’t been pulled from the shelves.
Apple Inc.’s devices were found to infringe two Qualcomm software patents, but Apple tweaked its devices in an update after the ruling. It is also appealing the court decision.
Qualcomm has also sought to ban the sale of iPhones found to violate its patents in the U.S. Last month, an administrative judge with the International Trade Commission found that Apple had violated one of Qualcomm’s patents, but advised against prohibiting the import of affected iPhones because it would not be in the public interest.
However, his word is not final. The ITC will review the decision, and make a final ruling by Feb. 19.