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Qualcomm bans to stop some Apple iPhone sales in Germany



(Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc has taken steps on Thursday to enforce the sale of some iPhone models in Germany, which will result in Apple Inc. likely pulling the iPhone models out of its German stores.

FILE PHOTO: A man visits the Qualcomm stand at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2017 in Beijing, China, April 28, 2017. Photo taken on April 28, 2017. REUTERS / Jason Lee / File Photo

The US chipmaker A legal requirement by a German court issued bonds totaling 1.34 billion euros (1.21 billion pounds), which stated on December 20 that Apple had violated Qualcomm patents for energy-saving technologies in smartphones ,

Apple had previously announced it would pull the iPhone 7 and 8 out of the 15 retail stores in Germany when the order enters into force. This order came into effect when Qualcomm published the bonds.

Apple declined to comment on Qualcomm's last move on Thursday.

The German case is Qualcomm's third major endeavor to achieve a ban on Apple's lucrative iPhones for patent infringement allegations of similar moves in the US and China, and is part of a global patent pattering between the two companies.

According to court order, Apple must stop the sale, the offer to sell and import all illegal iPhones in Germany. Apple had said the decision was appealing.

The court also ordered Apple to retrieve the affected iPhones from third party suppliers in Germany, according to Qualcomm.

In its earlier statement on the decision, Apple had stated that it would continue to offer all of its phones at thousands of retail and carrier locations across Germany, a direct contradiction to Qualcomm's interpretation.

The district court of Munich was not immediately available for comment.

Kai Ruting, a German lawyer not involved in the case, said the court order was directed at Apple entities rather than third parties.

"These third parties can continue to sell the iPhones, and they sell the majority of iPhones," Ruting said, adding. "

Ruting said Apple has strong arguments to overturn the German court's ruling on appeal. When this happens, the Qualcomm bond will be used as compensation to Apple.

Apple's announced intention to pull iPhones out of the German stores is in contrast to how it handles court rulings in China, where there was a much wider ban on selling iPhone after a court ruled that the devices violated Qualcomm's patents. Apple continued to sell mobile phones in China, claiming its cell phones are legal in the country.

However, Apple has also released a software update to address Chinese compliance concerns.

According to Qualcomm, these software updates were inadequate and Apple still has to withdraw its cell phones. Apple had applied to the Chinese court to rethink its decision, but a result has yet to be announced.

Report by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru, Joern Poltz in Munich and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Rosalba O'Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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