Germany to ban some iPhone sales following Qualcomm patent case ruling

Qualcomm was granted a second injunction against Apple Thursday, banning it from selling some iPhone models in Germany that use chips from Intel and parts from another supplier, Qorvo.

This is the second major win for Qualcomm against Apple after a Chinese court granted an injunction against Apple for an alleged patent violation on Dec. 10.

The ruling will not go into immediate effect if Apple appeals, judge Matthias Zigann told the court. The German case is Qualcomm’s third major effort to secure a ban on Apple’s lucrative iPhones over patent infringement allegations after similar court efforts in the United States and in China.

In Germany, Qualcomm is seeking a ban on some iPhones with chips from Intel. The judge ruled that phones that contain a combination of chips from Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo violated one of Qualcomm’s patents around so-called envelope tracking, a feature that helps mobile phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals.

Apple, Intel and Qorvo were not immediately available to comment. A Qualcomm spokesperson did not immediately have a statement.

Qualcomm sued Apple in the regional court in Munich in July last year, seeking an injunction to halt some iPhone sales in Germany as well as monetary damages. The case is part of a broader court conflict between the two, in which Apple has alleged that Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive business practices to protect a monopoly on its modem chips, which help mobile phones connect to wireless data networks. 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.

Apple had tried to preempt a ban based on a different feature by altering its software in Germany, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

-Reuters contributed to this report.

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