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China Bans iPhone Sales as Court Sides with Qualcomm in Dispute With Apple

Chinese court blocks the sale of multiple iPhone models for patent violation

A Chinese court has barred Apple from selling multiple iPhone models in the world’s most populated country, finding the tech giant infringed on two patents held by Qualcomm, the chip company announced on Monday.

The preliminary injunction, issued on Nov. 30, doesn’t impact Apple’s latest iPhones — the XR, XS and XS — but does prevent the company from selling any model between the iPhone 6s and X. Qualcomm said in its statement the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court found Apple violated two nonstandard essential patents — one dealing with picture editing software and another with swiping through apps.

“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,” Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm, said in a statement. “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.”

Apple did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

It’s unclear when the court order will go into effect. Several iPhone models hit by the injunction, including the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus, were still able to be purchased on Apple’s website in China on Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The court order adds another chapter to the years-long feud between Apple and Qualcomm. The San Diego-based chip company has filed more than 10 patent lawsuits against Apple in China in recent years.

The order, while not impacting Apple’s latest series of its trademark product, is still a blow to the tech giant. Apple and its shareholders have already suffered a month from hell heading into Monday, with company shares down 25 percent since reporting underwhelming Q4 iPhone sales at the beginning of November. Apple shares were down 1.4 percent in early trading on Monday.