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Chinese Court Bans Sale Of Some iPhone Models On Qualcomm’s Complaint

Chinese Court Bans Sale Of Some iPhone Models On Qualcomm’s Complaint
A court in China found that many of the older Apple Inc iPhone models that are being sold in the Chinese market violated two patents of chipmaker Qualcomm Inc and as such the court imposed a ban on the sale of such iPhone models even though Apple Inc has said that it continues to sell all of its iPhone models in mainland China.
This verdict was a part of the case that was initiated by Qualcomm that has been brought against its US rival company Apple and comprises of dozens of more such patent related lawsuits. Irrespective of what Apple claims, this verdict creates a certain degree of uncertainty on the prospects of Apple’s business in one of its largest foreign market even while the company is reported to be facing reduced demand for its latest iPhone models especially in the emerging markets.
As a first step towards contesting the ban, Apple has filed a request with the court for reconsideration of the verdict, the company has said.
The order for the ban on some iPhone models was passed by the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court in China after it was convinced that Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker Qualcomm and has also ordered a ban on the sale of iPhone models from the S6 model to the X series, Qualcomm said.
Apple said that the three models released in September were not part of the case and tried to assure that all of its iPhone models continue to sell in China.
Accounting for about one-fifth of Apple's $265.6 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal year, the third largest market for Apple has been China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The case against Apple in China was filed in late 2017 by Qualcomm which is itself one of the largest suppliers of chips for mobile phones. The appeal of the chip maker was that Apple had breached patent laws on features that it had patented and is related to resizing of photographs and the management of apps on a touch screen.
"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", said Apple in response to the accusations by Qualcomm. 
According to the provisions of the provincial courts in China, a request for a ban on the products of a rival can be placed by a company without the rival getting a chance to defend the allegations. This is not the case with the provisions of China's specialized intellectual property courts in Beijing.
Complaints in what is known as an enforcement tribunal would have to be filed by Qualcomm in order to enforce the ban. Apple would have a chance to appeal the case in that forum.
The Chinese injunction could put pressure on Apple to reach a global settlement with Qualcomm, Yiqiang Li, a patent lawyer at Faegre Baker Daniels who is not involved in the case, was quoted in the media as saying.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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