ITC judge finds Apple infringed Qualcomm patent, recommends US import ban on some iPhone models

The Qualcomm-Apple patent battle continues. A US judge has ruled that some iPhone models have infringed on Qualcomm patents.

The ruling from the International Trade Commission judge means that the judge recommended an import ban on some iPhone models, however the decision may have to be reviewed by the full commission before a ban comes into effect. The ban is unlikely to affect the latest models like iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

Apple previously faced an import ban in China. In that case, Apple promptly released a software update that circumvented the claims of the patent.

There is currently an ongoing sales ban in Germany. Apple removed iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models from Germany whilst the decision is appealed in the courts.

The judge found that Apple infringed on one of three Qualcomm patents under review. Apple is yet to comment on the matter. It’s not yet clear exactly which iPhone models would be subject to a ban, if it came into effect at all.

AAPL stock fell sharply on the news. Qualcomm and Apple have been participating in an intense legal battle all over the world. Apple believes Qualcomm abused its monopolistic position in modems which prevented Apple from using alternative suppliers in the iPhone for a long time.

Apple began to switch away from Qualcomm models with the iPhone 7, and all modern iPhone modems are made by Intel.

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