Qualcomm sues to block Apple from selling the iPhone in China

Qualcomm is making another move against Apple.                  Justin Sullivan  Getty Images

Qualcomm is making another move against Apple. Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Qualcomm previously requested an iPhone ban in the United States. However, China has been Apple's fastest-growing market until pretty recently, and it's where iPhones are manufactured.

Update: Qualcomm's suits pertain to three non-standard essential patents and the claims were filed in a Beijing court on September 29. This is the latest strike in a legal war between the two companies, which started out in the U.S. and has since expanded worldwide. "Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them", Trimble said. While Qualcomm gets the majority of its sales from making phone chips, it pulls in most of its profit from charging fees for patents that cover the fundamentals of all modern phone systems.

Apple's shares were up marginally, while Qualcomm shares were little changed in afternoon trading.

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It seems exceedingly unlikely that sales of any iPhones will be banned. If granted, that would be a big blow to Apple as the Greater China region was responsible for 22.5% of Apple's revenues in the latest fiscal year. In July, it filed a similar claim in the U.S., pointing to six patents that it said Apple was in violation of.

While we've detailed the legal bickering between the two tech giants on this site on numerous occasions, Qualcomm's latest move is aimed at crippling Apple's base of manufacturing in China. Earlier this week, Qualcomm was fined a record NT$23.4 billion ($773 million) by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission, a ruling the company is appealing.

However, Apple has now cut off those payments costing Qualcomm an estimated $2 billion a year in revenue. Qualcomm stock is down 19 percent this year compared with a 35 percent gain by the benchmark Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index.

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