Not satisfied with its preliminary win and an import ban against iPhone 6s through iPhone 8, Qualcomm has now asked the Chinese patent court to ban sales of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in the region.
A Chinese patent court earlier this week ruled that Apple infringed on two of Qualcomm’s software patents and handed a sales and import ban on selected iPhone models. Apple was quick to clarify that the sales ban was only on devices running iOS 11, though Qualcomm said that the ban applies to iOS 12 devices as well. While Qualcomm was handed a win, it was not clear as to when the ban would go live. Apple for its part had already filed a reconsideration request and that all the devices in question remained on sale.
Nonetheless, Qualcomm wants to take advantage of the situation and is asking courts to ban sales of newer iPhones running iOS 12 as well.
“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.
Qualcomm was given a sales and import ban injunction against iPhones for patents which include the way applications are managed on a smartphone and how photos are resized. In the US as well, Qualcomm has managed to get the ITC to review a ruling for one of the cases which Apple had lost for patent infringement relating to how it uses Intel modem on iPhones. Despite the loss, an iPhone sales ban was not handed over to Apple since it would have gone against the interest of the U.S. consumers. Now though, the ITC might consider imposing a limited iPhone import ban after reviewing the case again.
At this point, it is unclear that even if Qualcomm ends up getting an import ban on newer iPhones in China how fast the ruling will go into effect. Apple still continues to sell the iPhone 6s through iPhone 8 in China despite the Chinese patent court imposing a sales ban on them. And given how much time it takes for courts to come to a verdict, Apple might just come up with a workaround by then.