15 December, 2018
Earlier this week, a Chinese court issued a set of preliminary injunctions in the patent fight between Apple and Qualcomm. Qualcomm has brought patent suits in China and other jurisdictions seeking bans on the sale of certain iPhone models to force Apple to the negotiating table. Well, Apple has prepared to eliminate the infringed features from the iPhones by providing an update.
The spat between Qualcomm and Apple is showing signs of becoming the new Apple Vs Samsung - a falling out that kept lawyers busy for many years.
Chip giant Qualcomm hopes to extend the range of iPhones banned in China, the Financial Times reported Thursday, December 13.
"We plan to use the same patents to file suit against the three new iPhone models", Jiang Hongyi, a lawyer at Lexfield Law Offices who is representing Qualcomm in its patent suits, told the FT.
The new software may be part of Apple's attempt to keep the impact of the sales ban away from its latest devices.
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Ultimately, it will be up to the Chinese courts to decide if this future software update will be enough to avoid the sales ban. Apple's settlement with Qualcomm will result in the latter going back to its old licensing technique with all smartphone vendors which would lead to "unrecoverable losses".
Meanwhile, Qualcomm has persuaded the US International Trade Commission to consider banning imports of iPhones that use Intel chips, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
However, Apple does not mince words when describing how destructive an Apple sales ban in China would be. Apple representative was quoted to say that the company will be forced to settle with the Respondent, causing all mobile phone manufacturers to relapse into the previous unreasonable charging mode and pay high licensing fees..
"Apple and many other companies, consumers, and government will suffer truly irreparable harm", the company said in the filing.
We can only assume that next week we will learn whether the Chinese courts will grant Apple some leniency in this case.