Apple pulls older iPhone models from stores in Germany amid patent row

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Apple Inc said it would pull some iPhone models from its German stores after a court there ruled on Thursday that Apple infringed a hardware patent of Qualcomm Inc and banned sales of iPhones in Germany with chips from Apple supplier Qorvo Inc. In this latest chapter in the legal drama, Qualcomm successfully argued that 4G LTE modems produced by Intel and components produced by Qorvo for the iPhone infringe upon its patents. According to judge Matthias Zigann, the iPhones containing those third-party parts violate Qualcomm's patents around envelope tracking, a feature that helps phones preserve battery while sending and receiving wireless transmissions. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Qualcomm will have to pay the Munich court €668.4 million to enforce the ban.

Earlier this month, a Chinese court ruled in favor of Qualcomm on the same basis, issuing an injunction on models between the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 8. Apple certainly wasn't pleased with the decision and came out guns blazing at Qualcomm. Apple, though, indicated that it has stopped selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 at its retail stores in Germany, though the devices can still be picked up via local carriers.


Because of this latest injunction, Apple is now prevented from selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany.

In a statement, Apple said: "Qualcomm's campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies".


Qualcomm has alleged in courts around the world that Apple violated its patents and has sought bans on iPhone sales in the United States and China. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers.

Apple has not commented on when it will file an appeal so we're assuming that the company's legal team is already going through with the proceedings at this current time. "We are of course disappointed by this verdict, and we plan to appeal", said Apple in a statement for CNBC.


Apple went on to add, "Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn't do". The International Trade Commission, Baker points out, has ruled that Qorvo's "envelope tracker chip does not infringe the USA counterpart to the patent at issue in this case". The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has also sued Qualcomm over its business practices in a case set to go to trial in California next month.

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