Apple has been ordered by Chinese regulators to halt sales of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Beijing due to a patent dispute originating from a local Chinese company according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Shenzhen Baili claims via a message on the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau’s website that the two iPhone models infringe on a patent it owns regarding the exterior design of its 100C smartphone (pictured below). The statement on the website is dated May 19 although the Journal says Chinese media only became aware of it this week.
Apple on Friday said the order had been stayed during the appeals process which means the phones remain available for sale.
Apple may simply be stalling from a strategic standpoint. A source reportedly familiar with the matter told the Journal that some stores in Beijing had already stopped selling the two models months ago, replacing them with the current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. What’s more, Apple will reportedly end production of the two older models in the near future.
Apple is no stranger to legal disputes in China and even with Shenzhen Baili. Filings with China’s State Intellectual Property Office indicate that Apple has been battling with the company for more than a year over the patent which was upheld by the regulator’s reexamination board on December 2 of last year.