Apple Says Chinese iPhone Ban Would Force a Settlement with Qualcomm; Cause ‘Irreparable Harm’ to All Involved

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A court filing from Apple reveals that a Chinese ban on the sales of iPhone will force the company to settle its intense and long legal battle with Qualcomm over patent licensing and royalty issues. Apple notes that the ban will cost it millions of dollars a day and negatively affect Chinese consumers as well as the government as the latter could lose hundreds of thousands of tax.

The move will also negatively affect Chinese companies like Foxconn and its other vendors who manufacture the iPhone for Apple. It says the harm done by the ban to itself, the Chinese government and other companies will be “irreparable.”

In the filing, Apple highlights that it has helped create 5 million jobs across the supply chain and software development in China. 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.”

“Apple 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, resulting in unrecoverable losses in the downstream market of mobile phones,” the iPhone maker said in the Dec. 10 filing to the court.

The statements were made by Apple in its court filing for a reconsideration request of the ban imposed by the Chinese patent court on iPhone 6s through iPhone 8 for infringing on two of Qualcomm’s software patents. On its part, Qualcomm has filed a second injunction to get the Chinese court to impose a sales and import ban on newer iPhones like the iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

Since the battle between Qualcomm and Apple first started in 2017, things have only gotten worse between the two companies. Apple and its partners started withholding Qualcomm’s royalty payments and sued the company for its high licensing fees and incompetent business practices. In retaliation, Qualcomm countersued Apple for various patent infringement. In China, the company was awarded a sales and import ban of iPhones for Apple violating two of its software patents. The win, however, meant little as it pertained to iOS 11 which is why the chip maker is looking to expand it to include iOS 12 and 2018 iPhones as well.