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Qualcomm coughs up £1.17bn to enforce iPhone sales ban in Germany

APPLE WILL BE FORCED to yank iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 from shelves in Germany after Qualcomm posted a €1.3bn (£1.17bn) bond to bring a December court order into effect. 

Late last month, the District Court of Munich found that Apple infringed Qualcomm patents related to power-saving technology and ruled that the iPhone maker must halt sales of the device in Germany.

Apple, which could do with every iPhone sale it can get after this week issuing its first profit warning since 2002, said at the time that it plans to appeal the ruling, with the aim of delaying – and ultimately overturning – the sales injunction.

It also confirmed that it wouldn’t sell the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 at its 15 retail stores in Germany during the appeals process, but noted that the smartphones would still be available through its carriers and third-party retailers in 6,000 German locations.

On Thursday, Qualcomm made the injunction official by posting a bond to cover potential damages incurred by Apple should the judgment be overturned or amended on appeal. 

In a statement, Qualcomm said that the ban extends to third-party resellers, despite Apple’s claims to the contrary. 

“Apple was ordered to cease the sale, offer for sale and importation for sale of all infringing iPhones in Germany,” the chipmaker said. “The court also ordered Apple to recall infringing iPhones from third-party resellers in Germany.”

Apple on Thursday reiterated its earlier statement, in which it called Qualcomm’s lawsuit “a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies.”

“Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers,” Apple said. “Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn’t do, and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behaviour.”

The German sales ban comes after Qualcomm in December won a preliminary injunction that bans the import and sale of nearly all iPhone models in China.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China sided with Qualcomm’s argument that Apple’s iDevices infringe its patents related to resizing images and using touch-based navigation apps.

As a result, the court issued injunctions against the sale of the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. µ

Source : Inquirer

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