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US Tribunal to Review iPhone Import Ban, As Apple And Qualcomm Legal Dispute Continues

A final ruling is due before February 19.

Reuters

Updated:December 13, 2018, 8:44 AM IST
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US Tribunal to Review iPhone Import Ban, As Apple And Qualcomm Legal Dispute Continues
A final ruling is due before February 19.
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The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Wednesday it would review a ruling that a ban on imports of some iPhones into the United States was not in the public interest, even if Apple Inc (AAPL.O) infringed a Qualcomm (QCOM.O) patent. Apple and Qualcomm are locked in a wide-ranging legal dispute in which Apple has accused Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices. Qualcomm has in turn accused Apple of patent infringement.

Qualcomm initiated the ITC case against Apple in July 2017, alleging that iPhones containing Intel (INTC.O) chips infringed six patents describing technology that helps smartphones perform well without draining the battery. Qualcomm did not allege that Intel chips violate its patents, but that the way Apple implemented them in the iPhone does. It later dropped three of the six patents from the case.

Administrative law judge Thomas Pender, a now-retired member of the ITC tribunal that hears patent infringement cases, ruled in September that Apple infringed one of the patents, but cleared the company of infringing the other two. Pender recommended the agency not grant Qualcomm the relief the San Diego, California-based chipmaker had sought, saying it was not in the U.S. interest.

The ITC said on Wednesday it would review whether the one patent was indeed infringed and also whether it was right to not grant Qualcomm relief. Pender’s decision on the other two patents would not be reviewed, it said.

A final ruling is due before February 19.
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