Qualcomm asks ITC to ban import and sale of iPhone in U.S.

Updated 2017-07-07 16:28:37 CGTN

Qualcomm further expanded its legal battle with Apple on Thursday, suing the Cupertino-based smartphone company for patent infringement and asking the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the import of certain iPhones that don't use Qualcomm chips into the country.

It's not clear which models would be affected by such a ban, but Qualcomm wants the courts to determine which iPhones are currently using processors from other companies.

The San Diego-based chipmaker is asking Apple to pay damages, claimed that Apple infringes six patents covering various aspects including technology that improves iPhone's battery life.

"Apple continues to use Qualcomm's technology while refusing to pay for it," Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, said in a statement given to CNBC.

Apple has commented during its earlier dispute with Qualcomm, accusing it of unfairly imposing what Apple calls a "tax" on Apple devices using Qualcomm chips.

Stacy Rasgon, analyst with Bernstein, told Reuters that it normally takes 16 months for ITC cases to conclude, and the case was unlikely to affect Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone launch expected this fall. "I doubt this puts a lot of immediate pressure on Apple," Rasgon added.

The two California tech giants have a long history of legal battle. This January, Apple sued Qualcomm for approximately one billion US dollars, alleging the chipmaker for charging "disproportionately high" fees for the use of its patents and abusing its position as the market leader in smartphone modems.

Five months later, Apple expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm and accused the wireless chipmaker of "double-dipping" with unfair patent licensing agreements in June.

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