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China iPhone ban would force Apple to settle Qualcomm patent spat

Apple Inc. will be forced to settle its long-standing patent battle with Qualcomm Inc. if an iPhone ban in China succeeds, Bloomberg News reported, citing a court filing.

A Chinese court earlier granted Qualcomm a preliminary injunction against Apple banning the import and sale of several iPhone models in China that the court found to have violated two of the chipmaker's patents. Qualcomm is seeking to broaden the ban to newer iPhone models.

Apple, which is appealing the decision, argued that a settlement with Qualcomm could result in smartphone-makers paying higher licensing fees to the latter. Qualcomm supplies its technology to companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp.

The iPhone-maker will also release a software update for its Chinese users early on the week of Dec. 17, in order to address potential concerns on the functions covered by the patents identified in the case, according to the report.

In 2017, Qualcomm filed copyright infringement suits against Apple's Taiwan-based contract manufacturers and accused the U.S. tech giant of infringing on six of its patents. Apple earlier sued Qualcomm for engaging in an "abusive licensing model."