In the latest escalation in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, the chipmaker has announced that it has posted €1.34bn ($1.5bn) in security bonds in order to enforce a preliminary injunction on select iPhone models in Germany.
The decision follows a court in the country finding that Apple has infringed on Qualcomm patents for power-saving technology used in its smartphones. This led to the German court demanding that Apple cease importing and selling all infringing iPhone models in the country and to recall any of the iPhone models from third-party resellers.
The dispute began in 2017 when Apple claimed that Qualcomm charge more than it should for technology patents "they have nothing to do with". It has since escalated into a full-blown legal battle which analysts predict could last several years, with Apple asserting that Qualcomm has unfair patent licensing practices, while Qualcomm has continued to accuse Apple of patent infringement.
Responding to the verdict, Apple described Qualcomm's campaign as a "desperate attempt" to divert attention from the real issues between the two companies.
"Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers," Apple stated. "Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn't do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior.
"We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal. All iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany. During the appeal process, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available at Apple's 15 retail stores in Germany. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available in all our stores," Apple added.
Qualcomm rebuttled: "Two respected courts in two different jurisdictions just in the past two weeks have now confirmed the value of Qualcomm's patents and declared Apple an infringer, ordering a ban on iPhones in the important markets of Germany and China."
In October 2018, Qualcomm demanded $7bn from Apple in what it claimed were unpaid royalties, the money, however, has yet to materialize from the iPhone maker.