Apple and Qualcomm’s legal dispute seems to be intensifying with each passing week. With no sign of a settlement agreement on the horizon, Qualcomm remains intent on turning up the pressure on Apple. Just a few days after the company secured an injunction against older iPhone models in China, the Financial Times reports that the company is now looking to secure a new injunction which would prevent Apple from selling the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max in China.
In a statement provided to the Financial Times, an attorney for Qualcomm relayed that the company plans to wield the same patent that formed the basis for the original injunction. Interestingly enough, that patent involves how one manipulates a photo via a touchscreen. While that technology literally has nothing to do with the core issues of the dispute, it’s not uncommon to see tech giants involved in complex litigation assert all sorts of infringement claims as a means to assert more pressure on the opposing party.
Earlier this week, Apple noted that the first injunction wouldn’t have much of an impact, if any, on the company’s operations in China because all of its devices run iOS 12. While it remains to be seen what the court thinks of Apple’s argument in this respect, it’s clear that Qualcomm is forcefully trying to get Apple to engage in serious settlement discussions.
In the meantime, Qualcomm itself is still feeling the heat from its dispute with Apple as it pertains to its bottom line. Just a few months ago, the company said that it’s owed $7 billion in royalty payments from Apple.
“They’re trying to destroy our business,” a Qualcomm lawyer said in October. “They’re now $7 billion dollars behind in royalties. The house is on fire and there is $7 billion of property damage right now.”
Amid reports that iPhone sales might be slumping, it will be interesting to see how Apple handles an adverse ruling in China which would preclude them from selling their flagship devices in the country.