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Apple Now the Target of Tactics It Used Against Competitors

For years, Apple used the ITC to ban competitors’ products from being sold. Now, one of its suppliers is doing the same.

Apple News Editor

Qualcomm is seeking to block iPhones entering the country over copyright infringement, but Apple has repeatedly done the same to its competitors.

The battle between tech giant Apple and its chip supplier, Qualcomm, was splashed across business sections this week as Qualcomm requested a block on iPhones shipped to the United States.

Qualcomm is seeking to block iPhone shipments to the U.S., arguing that the phones infringe on six of its patents.

Qualcomm plans to request the import ban Friday with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which has the power to block shipments of products that violate intellectual property.

But Apple actually has a history of filing claims with the International Trade Commission (ITC), which urged the agency to ban competitors’ products from importation.

In 2010, Apple asked the ITC to ban imports of all Nokia products alleged to have infringed on Apple patents. The two companies reached a deal in 2011.

In 2011, the ITC ruled in Apple’s favor on a case involving HTC. Ultimately the commission banned the importation of certain HTC and Android devices.

In 2012, the ITC ruled that Motorola had not infringed on Apple’s patents, despite pleas from Apple.

In 2013, the ITC said that Samsung infringed on a key portion of an Apple patent, which prohibited the sale of certain Samsung products.

But now Apple finds itself on the receiving end of an ITC complaint, which could result in their products being banned from the United States. If that were to happen, it could take months to take effect.