According to Reuters, Qualcomm has won a preliminary order in a Chinese court banning the import and sale of several iPhones in its legal brouhaha with Apple.
The preliminary order affects the iPhone 6S through the iPhone X. The ruling came from the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China, the same court that earlier this year banned the import of some of memory chip maker Micron Technology’s chips into China. Qualcomm initially filed the case in China in late 2017.
The court found Apple violated two of Qualcomm’s software patents around resizing photographs and managing applications on a touch screen.
However, in a statement to Reuters and other publications, Apple said all iPhone models remain available for customers in China. To wit: “Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world. All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China. Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”
This is part of an ongoing battle between Apple and Qualcomm. In January 2017 Apple sued Qualcomm, alleging the chip supplier demanded unfair terms for its technology (which the company, of course, denied). Around the same time, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in a federal district court charging the supplier of baseband processors with using anticompetitive tactics to maintain its monopoly in the supply of a key semiconductor device used in cell phones and other consumer products.
Qualcomm claims it went out of its way to offer alternative licensing (which Apple rejected), and that, in suing Qualcomm, Apple is motivated by reducing the cost to make iPhones.