By Eric Schweibenz and Alex Englehart
On July 7, 2017, Qualcomm Inc. of San Diego, California (“Qualcomm”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”) unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain mobile electronic devices and radio frequency and processing components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,633,936 (the ’936 patent), 8,698,558 (the ’558 patent), 8,487,658 (the ’658 patent), 8,838,949 (the ’949 patent), 9,535,490 (the ’490 patent), and 9,608,675 (the ’675 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to technologies for use in mobile applications, including the design, structure, and operation of products with envelope tracking technology, voltage shifter circuitry, flashless boot, power management circuitry, enhanced carrier aggregation, and graphics processing units. In particular, the ’936 patent relates to a graphics processing architecture incorporating multiple execution units for processing graphics instructions at different graphics precision levels, and for converting graphics data to the correct precision level prior to processing the associated graphics instruction. The ’558 patent relates to envelope tracking technology, which addresses the efficient use of power by a power amplifier in transmitting an output radio frequency signal. The ’658 patent relates to voltage level shifter circuitry. The ’949 patent relates to flashless boot technology, i.e., booting up a secondary processor that does not have its own non-volatile memory to store a system image. The ’490 patent relates to reducing power consumption in electronic devices by minimizing the time during which system buses are in a high power consumption state. Lastly, the ’675 patent relates to techniques for generating a power supply voltage for a power amplifier that processes multiple transmit signals sent simultaneously, such as multiple transmissions sent simultaneously on multiple carriers at different frequencies.

In the complaint, Qualcomm states that Apple imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to the Apple iPhone 7 as an infringing product.

Regarding domestic industry, Qualcomm states that many of its own integrated circuit products practice claims of the asserted patents. Qualcomm further states that it sells its integrated circuit products to customers who incorporate such products into devices (e.g., smartphones) that are sold in the U.S. Qualcomm further states that it is one of “the United States’ largest and most innovative technology companies,” and that it has over 18,000 employees in the U.S., 68 percent of whom are engineers. Qualcomm also states that it occupies 92 buildings in the U.S. totaling over 6.5 million square feet of space. Qualcomm additionally states that its domestic industry products are all designed, developed, tested, and supported in the U.S.

As to related litigation, Qualcomm states that on July 6, 2017, it filed suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging infringement of the asserted patents.

With respect to potential remedy, Qualcomm requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Apple and related entities.