U.S. International Trade Commission to Pursue Investigation of Apple
Qualcomm today announced that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has commenced an investigation into Apple. The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Qualcomm on July 7, 2017.
The investigation will examine whether Apple has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing and selling certain mobile electronic devices, including iPhones and iPads that infringe one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents.
Qualcomm is requesting that the ITC issue a Limited Exclusion Order to bar importation, and a Cease and Desist Order to bar further sales and marketing in the United States, of iPhones and iPads that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates.
“Qualcomm is pleased with the ITC’s decision to investigate Apple’s unfair trade practices and the unauthorized importation of products using Qualcomm’s patents,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.
“We look forward to the ITC’s expeditious investigation of Apple’s ongoing infringement of our intellectual property and the accelerated relief that the Commission can provide.”
The U.S. ITC Notice of Institution of Investigation states:
“The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain mobile electronic devices and radio frequency and processing components thereof. The products at issue in the investigation are mobile electronic devices, such as the iPhone 7, and specific components for such devices, such as baseband processor modems.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Qualcomm Incorporated of San Diego, CA, on July 7, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain mobile electronic devices and radio frequency and processing components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
The USITC has identified Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, as the respondent in this investigation.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1065), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.”
In addition to the complaint filed with the ITC, on July 7, 2017, Qualcomm filed suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple infringes the same six patents in the complaint filed in the ITC.
Qualcomm has also sued Apple for patent infringement in Germany. That lawsuit, commenced on July 17, 2017, seeks damages and injunctive relief for iPhones imported into or sold in Germany.