Qualcomm Escalates Fight With Apple, Seeks Fines in iPhone Case

(Bloomberg) -- Qualcomm Inc. is escalating its patent fight with Apple Inc. by asking a Munich court to fine the company for insufficient compliance with a ban on the sale of iPhones in Germany obtained days before Christmas.

The chipmaker on Wednesday filed motions to enforce the Dec. 20 injunction, its General Counsel Don Rosenberg said in an emailed statement. Qualcomm says Apple failed to properly recall the devices from sellers and some phones were still available in Apple stores in early January.

The Apple units "intentionally defy the court order. They obviously don’t consider themselves bound by the injunction," Qualcomm’s lawyers wrote in the filings. "Significant fines must be imposed to put a check on that."

The tech giants are embroiled in a global patent battle over licensing fees Qualcomm charges for technology the chipmaker says underpins all modern phone systems. Apple has argued its former supplier unfairly leverages its position as the biggest provider of chips for smartphones to force payment.

Apple didn’t immediately reply to requests seeking comment.

In the filings, San Diego-based Qualcomm also refers to a press release Apple distributed after the December ruling, which said the devices would still be available at independent retailers as a sign of Apple’s non-compliance. The iPhone maker also failed to provide data about how many devices covered by the injunction were distributed in Germany, according to the filings.

Qualcomm disclosed its new attack hours after it lost four other cases over two different patents in the same court. Four more cases covering two additional patents are still pending in Munich and the judges on Thursday gave Qualcomm more time to comment on a preliminary assessment by the European Patent Office that voiced doubts on the validity of the intellectual property.

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