For those who came in late, Apple is facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm patents. Apple, after denying that its products were banned in China, said it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
This means that it has to activate its crack team of software genii who have difficulty designing clock software and whose work with hardware resulted in the phone overheating in the hope to resolve a pretty serious patent issue. Apple however thinks that the problem is minor.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance. Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
Earlier this week, a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would likely take time to enforce.
The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two US companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
Qualcomm has said the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models, from the 6S through the X.
Qualcomm and Apple disagree about whether the court order means iPhone sales must be halted.
The court’s preliminary injunction, which the chipmaker also shared with Reuters, orders an immediate block, though lawyers say Apple could take steps to stall the process.
All iPhone models were available for purchase on Apple’s China website on Friday.
Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed its case against Apple in China in late 2017, saying the iPhone maker infringed patents on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touch screen.
Apple argues the injunction should be lifted as continuing to sell iPhones does not constitute “irreparable harm” to Qualcomm, a key consideration for a preliminary injunction, the copy of its reconsideration request dated Dec. 10 shows.
Apple’s reconsideration request also says any ban on iPhone sales would impact its Chinese suppliers and consumers as well as the tax revenue it pays to authorities.
The request adds the injunction could force Apple to settle with Qualcomm. But it was not clear whether this referred to the latest case or their broader legal dispute.
Qualcomm has paid a 300 million yuan ($43.54 million) bond to cover potential damages to Apple from a sales ban and Apple is willing to pay a “counter security” of double that to get the ban lifted, the copy of the reconsideration request shows.
Apple did not immediately respond to questions about the reconsideration request and Reuters was not independently able to confirm its authenticity.