MANILA, Philippines – Chip giant Qualcomm hopes to extend the range of iPhones banned in China, the Financial Times reported Thursday, December 13.
On Monday, December 10, Qualcomm announced a Chinese court, the Intermediate People's Court in Fuzhou, had granted the company's request for two preliminary injunctions against 4 Apple subsidiaries, ordering them to stop selling 7 iPhone models: the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The injunctions are based on alleged patent infringement relating to photo manipulation and touchscreen apps.
Come Thursday, Qualcomm announced it had filed a new set of lawsuits targeting Apple's 2018 models: the Xs, Xs Max, and the XR.
The lawsuits were filed in courts in Beijing, Qingdao and Guangzhou. Jiang Hongyi, the lawyer representing Qualcomm in the patent suits, told the Financial Times: “We plan to use the same patents to file suit against the 3 new iPhone models."
Apple, however, has not complied with the ban, and is continuing to sell the iPhones that have already been banned by the court, citing that the injunction only applies to phones running on iOS 11. They argue that the banned phones have already been updated to iOS 12. Qualcomm disagrees, and states that the alleged infringing software features are still on iOS 12.
Strict enforcement will appear to be an issue as the legal battle between the two tech giants rages on – not just in China but in other parts of the world – including Germany, where Qualcomm is contending that Apple infringed due to its Spotlight search and power management feature.
The patent infringement suits are seen as Qualcomm's way of getting back at Apple, after the latter sued it in the US in January 2017 for allegedly overcharging on patents.