Judge calls for iPhone import ban due to patent infringements

By

Qualcomm patents
Qualcomm scored another victory in its legal battle with Apple.
Photo: Qualcomm

Some iPhone models could soon be blocked from coming into the U.S. after a judge recently ruled that Apple infringed on Qualcomm’s patents.

ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara found that iPhone infringes on one of three patents in Qualcomm’s case against Apple. She subsequently said she will recommend an import ban on iPhones, but a panel of judges could still save Apple.

A full commission of judges will review McNamara’s recommendation and has the power to block imports on products coming from China that infringe on patents. This is one of two cases Qualcomm has brought the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple. The other case is expected to be ruled on later today.

Qualcomm claimed that iPhones with Intel’s LTE modems violated two patents that improved download speed and increased power efficiency. The judge ruled that Apple infringe on the power-saving feature but not the speed improvement technology.

Apple and Qualcomm have been waging a legal battle across the globe for the last few years related to patent infringement and royalty payments. Qualcomm has successfully pushed for iPhone bans in Germany and China and it looks like the US could be next. The company wants the ITC to ban imports of AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use Intel chips.

The battle between the two companies is far from over. Apple recently won a case claiming it was owed $1 billion rebate payment while Qualcomm was victorious in another that claimed Apple owed $31 million for patent infringements.