Apple has been banned by a court from selling iPhones in China, according to chip maker Qualcomm.
The company says that a Chinese court has granted two preliminary injunctions that will force Apple to stop selling a whole range of iPhones released since the iPhone 6s. That accounts for just about every phone Apple has made in the last three years: the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
Qualcomm said that the ruling required Apple to stop importing and selling the phones.
"We deeply value our relationships with customers, rarely resorting to the courts for assistance, but we also have an abiding belief in the need to protect intellectual property rights," said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel.
"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."
The patents in question relate to features that allow users to adjust and change photographs, Qualcomm said. Given the disputes revolve around software, it is possible they could be fixed with an update that would remove the features.
The problems are already thought to relate to an older piece of software: iOS 11, which was superceded with the release of iOS 12 in September.
""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," an Apple spokesperson said. "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.”
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