(CN) – Tech giant Qualcomm says Apple is violating a Chinese court order by selling iPhones and other devices in China after the San Diego-based chip maker won a patent infringement lawsuit.
“Despite Apple’s efforts to downplay the significance of the order and its claims of various ways it will address the infringement, Apple apparently continues to flout the legal system by violating the injunctions,” Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel, said in a statement.
Apple has pushed back against Qualcomm’s characterizations, saying the order in no way impairs its ability to sell devices to the Chinese market and accused Qualcomm of using the Chinese ruling as a ruse to distract from Apple’s lawsuits against it in the United States and other countries.
“It really is part of Qualcomm’s distraction technique,” attorney Theodore Boutrous, who is representing Apple’s contract manufacturers in the China case, told Bloomberg Television. “They went in secret and got an order my clients – the companies that build the iPhones and iPads – didn’t even know about it. But it turns out it’s an order that relates to software; it doesn’t have anything to do with the cellular technology that’s an issue in the lawsuits that we have against Qualcomm for my clients which are seeking about $9 billion in damages.”
Apple and Qualcomm, who used to be business partners when Apple used the chip maker’s various technologies in its iPhones and iPads, are embroiled in a legal war involving many suits and countersuits filed in federal and state courts in the United States and legal skirmishes in other countries including the European Union.
Apple maintains Qualcomm wants people to focus on the matter in China as a means of distracting from the several U.S. lawsuits that fundamentally threaten Qualcomm’s business model.
In federal court in San Diego, Qualcomm accuses Apple of taking its core chip technology and sharing it with competitors in order to get better deals and prices. Meanwhile, Apple claims Qualcomm essentially double dips in its business practices, by both selling computer chips and charging royalties for the use of patented technology within those chips.
Qualcomm is also fighting a large antitrust case in the European Union, where it was recently fined $1.2 billion for paying Apple to use its chips from 2011 to 2016.
In China, The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court of China granted Qualcomm injunctions against Apple after the chipmaker said Apple used its patents to improve application management and photograph enhancements on touchscreen devices.
Qualcomm insists those injunctions represent a ban on the sales of any device in China, while Apple says those patents apply only to old phones and that a software update Monday allows the company to continue to sell iPhones while complying with court orders.
“All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China,” Apple said in a statement last week. “We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”