Qualcomm and Apple each declared victory after splitting a couple of rulings made by the U.S. International Trade Commission Tuesday.
Tuesday's ITC rulings are the latest developments in an ongoing, multi-faceted legal battle between the two longtime collaborators that began with a contract dispute in 2017. The firms are now engaged in litigation in several jurisdictions throughout the world.
Qualcomm Defeats Apple in U.S. Court
Investigation No. 337-TA-1065
In one ruling, the ITC rejected Qualcomm's request that the ITC ban the importation of several models of Apple iPhone that Qualcomm claims violate patents held by Qualcomm. Qualcomm had asked the ITC to ban the importation into the U.S. of iPhone 7, 8 and X models with modem chips supplied by Intel.
Upon issuing this ruling, the ITC closed its investigation of the case, brought by Qualcomm in 2017. Qualcomm indicated in a statement that it would ask the ITC to reconsider the ruling in light of a jury verdict earlier this month finding that the iPhones in question infringe on one of the Qualcomm patents.
"The Commission’s decision is inconsistent with the recent unanimous jury verdict finding infringement of the same patent after Apple abandoned its invalidity defense at the end of trial," Qualcomm said in a statement. "We will seek reconsideration by the Commission in view of the jury verdict."
Ultimately, the ITC ruling may be appealed to U.S. federal court.
Investigation No. 337-TA-1093
In a separate ruling on another case, ITC Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara issued an initial determination that the same models of iPhone violate a valid Qualcomm patent for processor power management technology in mobile devices.
Judge McNamara recommended that the ITC issue a ruling barring the importation into the U.S. of iPhone 7, 8 and X models. The determination also recommends that the ITC issue a cease and desist order barring further sales and marketing of the devices in the U.S.
Judge McNamara's initial determination faces review by the entire ITC before a final determination will be issued.
Qualcomm claims that the circuitry in Apple's A10, A11 and A12 applications processors violate U.S. Patent No. 8,063,674.
“We are pleased that today ITC Judge McNamara found that Apple-designed processors infringe our ‘674 patent and will be recommending an import ban and cease and desist order to the Commission,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm, in a statement. “The innovations we contribute to the iPhone extend well beyond a single component and Judge McNamara’s decision, along with recent infringement rulings in other U.S. and foreign courts, affirm the value of our technologies.”