Ina Fried Jul 6
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Qualcomm asks ITC to ban import of Intel-powered iPhones

Paul Sakuma / AP

Qualcomm is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban imports into the U.S. of Apple iPhones that use Intel modem chips. In papers being filed Thursday, Qualcomm charges that the iPhone infringes on six Qualcomm patents covering a range of things from manufacturing techniques to methods of reducing battery use.

It's the latest escalation in the high-stakes legal battle between the two companies. Both companies have sued one another. Qualcomm has also sued Apple's iPhone contract manufacturers saying the companies are improperly withholding royalty payments at Apple's behest.

Why it matters: Despite their legal animus, both companies still need one another. Apple relies on Qualcomm for modem chips that work on Sprint and Verizon's networks, while Apple remains one of Qualcomm's main sources of revenue. It's already started to have an impact on Qualcomm's earnings.