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.
The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world’s largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made. The product provides almost two-thirds of Apple’s revenue. Qualcomm filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court claiming patent infringement and seeking injunctive relief, according to Christine Trimble, a company spokeswoman.
“Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them,” Trimble said. Apple shares initially gave up some gains from earlier on Friday before recovering, while Qualcomm stock maintained small losses.
Qualcomm’s suits are based on three non-standard essential patents, it said. They cover power management and a touch-screen technology called Force Touch that Apple uses in current iPhones, Qualcomm said. The inventions “are a few examples of the many Qualcomm technologies that Apple uses to improve its devices and increase its profits,” Trimble said.
Apple said the claim has no merit. “In our many years of ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm, these patents have never been discussed,” said Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock.
Qualcomm made the filings at the Beijing court on September 29. The court has not yet made them public.