A Chinese court ordered a ban in the country on iPhone sales in a patent dispute between US chipmaker Qualcomm and Apple, according to a Qualcomm statement Monday.
The statement said the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court had granted Qualcomm’s request for two preliminary injunctions against four subsidiaries of Apple, ordering them to immediately to stop selling the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The move marked the latest in a long-running dispute over patents and royalties between the two California tech giants playing out in courts and administrative bodies worldwide.
“Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us. These court orders are further confirmation of the strength of Qualcomm’s vast patent portfolio,” said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel in Monday’s statement.
The China case is based on patents which enable consumers to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photographs, and to manage applications using a touchscreen, Qualcomm said.
An Apple statement to AFP called Qualcomm’s effort a “desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world.”
Apple added that Qualcomm “is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated.”
Apple said that “all iPhone models remain available for our customers in China,” adding that “we will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”
The court action also comes amid a backdrop of increased trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and the arrest in Canada of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei at the request of US authorities.
Beijing has reacted angrily to the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company’s founder, who faces US fraud charges related to alleged sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran.