Apple has been ordered to suspend sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in Beijing after a recent ruling that the phones infringe a design patent.
A Beijing intellectual property office ruled that the two phones infringed on a patent for the exterior design of competitor Shenzhen Baili’s 100C phone.
The order was issued last month, but was only recently reported by the media in China.
The tech-giant is allowed to continue selling the two iPhone models as a Beijing court stayed the administrative order on appeal.
However, if Apple’s appeal is dismissed by the Chinese court, then the company will be forced to stop selling its most profitable smartphones in Beijing.
“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court,” Apple said.
Analyst Ben Wood, from CCS Insight, was quoted by the BBC as saying:
“Large companies will always be reluctant to settle if they feel they don’t have a case to answer, but the Chinese market is so strategic to Apple that if they have to settle, they will,” Mr Wood said.
“This is a constant challenge for all large tech firms.
“Typically these sorts of legal spats are a game of brinkmanship.”
Shares in Apple dropped by 2.3% after news of the patent dispute emerged.