On Monday, a court in China agreed to Qualcomm's request for a preliminary importation and sales ban in the country on older Apple iPhone models. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court found that Apple had infringed on a pair of software patents belonging to Qualcomm. Apple continues to sell the banned models in China, which range from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone X, claiming that the order doesn't apply to those older models if iOS 12 is installed on them. The latest version of Apple's mobile operating system does not contain Qualcomm's software. Apple has filed a request with the court asking it to reconsider the ban on the older phones.
A report published today by Reuters states that Qualcomm plans to ask courts in China to extend the ban to Apple's 2018 models. That would include the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR; all three come with iOS 12 out of the box, and Apple says that its latest models were not included in the importation and sales ban ordered by the court. Nonetheless, Qualcomm's attorney representing the company in this matter, Jiang Hongyi, says, "We plan to use the same patents to file suit against the three new iPhone models."
Reuters also reports that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will review a previous ruling it made regarding a U.S. import ban on the Apple iPhone. Previously, the ITC said that preventing the importation of the device into the states was not in the public interest even if Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent. The ruling said that banning the iPhone would negatively impact competition in the modem chip market. The agency did say at the time that Apple had infringed on a single Qualcomm patent.
The judge who made the decision not to order a U.S. import ban on the iPhone, Administrative law judge Thomas Pender, has retired and is no longer a member of the tribunal. A decision is expected to be made before February 19th, 2019.