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Apple push software update in China, as Qualcomm’s case threatens the sales ban

SHANGHAI/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc, facing a legal ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm Inc. patents, said on Friday it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential problems.

FILE PHOTO : A participant makes use of a new iPhone X during a presentation for the media in Beijing, China October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Apple will run the software updates at the beginning of the following week, “on all potential concerns about the compliance of the order,” the company said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on the sale of some older iPhone models for infringing two of its patents, while intellectual property lawyers said that the ban would probably take the time to maintain it.

“On the basis of the iPhone models we offer today, in China, we believe that we are in compliance,” Apple said.

“Beginning next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China are addressing the small functionality of the two patents in question in the case.”

The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a worldwide patent dispute between the two AMERICAN companies that make dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty about Apple’s business in one of the biggest markets at a time when concerns about the declining demand for new iPhones, are the abuse of its shares.

Qualcomm has said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple’s infringement of two patents to the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on the sale of older iPhone models, the 6S by the X.

Apple has filed a request for reconsideration of the court, a copy of which We have shared with Reuters.

WHERE IS THE DAMAGE?

Qualcomm and Apple disagree on whether the court order means iPhone sales should be stopped.

The court has the injunctive relief, which the chipmaker also shared with Reuters, orders for an immediate block, although the lawyers say that Apple would take steps to stall the process.

All iPhone models are available for purchase on Apple’s China website on Friday.

Qualcomm, the largest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed the case against Apple in China at the end of 2017, saying the iPhone maker infringed patents on features related to change the size of photos and managing apps on a touch screen.

Apple claims that the ban should be lifted as continuing to sell iPhones does not constitute “irreparable damage” to Qualcomm, one of the most important considerations for a preliminary injunction, the copy of her request for reconsideration dated Dec. 10 shows.

“That’s one of the reasons why in a very complex litigation case, the court would be reluctant in the granting of a preliminary injunction,” said Yiqiang Li, a patent attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels.

HIT LOCAL SUPPLIERS

Apple’s request for reconsideration also says any ban on iPhone sales would affect Chinese suppliers and consumers, as well as the tax revenues it pays to the authorities.

The application adds the provision could force Apple to settle with Qualcomm. But it was not clear whether this refers to the most recent case or their broader legal dispute.

Qualcomm has paid a 300 million yuan ($43.54 million) bond to cover potential damage to Apple a sales ban, and Apple is willing to pay for a “counter security” from the double to get of the ban, the copy of the request for reconsideration shows.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Apple has not immediately respond to questions about the request for reconsideration and Reuters was not independently able to confirm the authenticity.

Lawyer Li said that the case would no doubt ramp up the pressure on Apple, especially if there is a prohibition was imposed.

“I think Qualcomm and Apple, they always have that IP lawsuits to enforce the other side to make concessions. They try to inch their somewhere. That is always the game.”

Reporting by Adam Jourdan in Shanghai and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by with the ipad has Himani

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