Qualcomm on Monday said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the import and sale of several Apple iPhone models in China that the court found violated two Qualcomm patents.
The preliminary order affects the iPhone 6S through the iPhone X sold with older versions of Apple’s iOS operating system; new iPhones use the latest version of the system, iOS 12. Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, initially filed its case in China in late 2017.
The ruling came from the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China, the same court that earlier this year banned the import of some of Micron Technology’s memory chips into China.
The court found that Apple violated two Qualcomm software patents related to resizing photographs and managing applications on a touchscreen.
Apple said in a statement to news outlets that “all iPhone models remain available for our customers in China.”
“Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us,” Don Rosenberg, the general counsel of Qualcomm, said in a statement.
Apple shares dropped over 2% in pre-market trading.
Because the patents concern software, Apple could change its software to avoid the patents and still be able to sell its phones.
The patents in the suit, which Qualcomm said on Monday had been upheld by the Chinese patent office, are separate from those being contested in other cases in its wide-ranging legal dispute with Apple. Qualcomm has also asked regulators in the United States to ban imports of several iPhone models over patent concerns, but US officials have so far declined to do so.
The specific iPhone models affected by the preliminary ruling in China are the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.