Apple on Friday said a software update it will release next week will address the iOS 11 features Qualcomm cited as patent infringements in winning a preliminary iPhone sales injunction from a Chinese court.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would likely take time to enforce.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said. “Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
Qualcomm earlier this week announced that it had won a preliminary injunction against certain iPhone models – the iPhone 6s through iPhone X – that shipped with iOS 11 installed. The company successfully argued that iOS 11’s resizing photographs and app management on a touch screen functionality violates intellectual property owned by Qualcomm.
The San Diego chipmaker says it intends to use the same patents to win a ban on sales of Apple’s new iPhone XR and iPhone XS models. However, Apple contends the IP does not apply to iOS 12, which is the mobile operating system used by both models.
Apple did not detail what changes were being made to render moot Qualcomm’s patent infringement claims. However, the Cupertino firm will likely push an update that does not include the infringing IP. It isn’t clear if the update will be voluntary, or will be a forced download.
In a statement earlier this week, Apple said all iPhone models remain on sale in China, despite the court’s decision. Apple has filed a “request for reconsideration” (an appeal) with the Chinese court, which delays enforcement of the previous decision.
“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said. “We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”