Qualcomm loses bid to Apple iPhone import ban in the ITC ruling

A Qualcomm sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China, November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

(Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday lost a bid to have on the imports of some Apple Inc iPhones banned in a final ruling on a dispute between the two companies, the full U.S. International Trade Commission.

In a separate but similar case, an administrative law judge previously recommended a ban on imports of some iPhones, along with Qualcomm. But, unlike the second judgment, that finding is not binding and should be reviewed by the agency.

Both cases there is a certain iPhone models with chips made by Intel Corp.

Qualcomm and Apple did not immediately comment on the second statement.

The two American companies are locked in a broad legal disputes in which Apple has accused Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices. Qualcomm has, in turn, Apple accused of patent infringement.

In the case in which Qualcomm lost in the final judgment, Qualcomm argued that a ban was necessary because Apple infringed on one of its patents.

But the ITC said that the patent claim should not be granted in the first place, sidestepping the questions of whether Apple violated, and the question of whether a ban was.

The International Trade Commission is a government agency which is competent to take cognizance of disputes over patented technology.

While the ITC cannot award money damages, such as federal courts, it can block the sale of imported products if it determines they infringe on patents. So an ITC import ban has the effect of stopping the US sales of a product in the abroad.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Stephen Nellis; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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