The report, citing Qualcomm, reported the mobile chip maker is hoping that its strategy of putting pressure on Apple by pursuing smaller legal cases will weaken Apple ahead of a trial that is slated to kick off in San Diego in the middle part of April. The trial focuses on patent licenses practices. By urging regulators to ban the iPhone models that infringe on its patents, Qualcomm is hoping regulators will side with Germany and China. Qualcomm won partial bans of some iPhone models in both countries, forcing Apple to only sell the ones with Qualcomm chips in certain markets.
Reuters noted that any potential ban in the U.S. may not last long since Apple announced last week that it has developed software that enables it to avoid infringing on one of the patents Qualcomm is fighting over. Apple, noted the report, asked regulators for six months to show the software fix works. Citing a court filing late last week, Reuters reported Qualcomm argued that Intel-based phones should be banned while Apple rolls out its software fix.
Since 2017 Qualcomm has argued that Apple violated its patents with some iPhone technology Apple uses to help the batteries on the devices last longer. Qualcomm wants trade regulators to place an import ban on older models of the iPhone that use a Intel chip. In the fall, an administrative judge at the ITC found Apple violated one of the Qualcomm patents but didn’t go as far as to call for a ban. The judge determined at the time that if there was a ban on the Intel-based iPhone it would give Qualcomm a monopoly in the U.S. for modem chips used in smartphones. The judge said the ruling was necessary to preserve competition, which is in the best interest of the public as the industry heads to 5G in the coming years.