U.S. ITC tribunal to review ruling on Qualcomm request for iPhone ban

“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 infringed a Qualcomm patent,” Jan Wolfe reports for Reuters.

“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,” Wolfe reports. “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,” Wolfe reports. “Pender’s decision on the other two patents would not be reviewed, it said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The ban would affect only the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X which contain Intel chips that work only on AT&T and T-Mobile.

The ITC says its decision will hinge on three factors:

• How long it would take Apple to design around Qualcomm’s patented battery-saving technology;
• what national security concerns would be implicated by an sales ban; and
• whether a limited import ban could be adopted.

The ITC also wants more information on Intel’s claim it would exit the market for high-end chips if an import ban is implemented.

It is obvious that the issue of national security should be a matter of pre-eminent importance in this investigation, especially when 5G development, innovation, control, and dominance will so dramatically affect competitive conditions in the U.S. economy in the long run. If the commission does issue an exclusion order as Qualcomm requests, it will do so with the near certainty there will be real harm to the United States on a potentially very broad basis. — ITC Judge Thomas Pender, September 2018

Even if the ITC tribunal issues an import ban in its final decision, due before February 19, 2019, it could be vetoed by President Donald Trump’s administration.

U.S. ITC judge denies Qualcomm’s request, won’t stop iPhone imports – September 29, 2018
Qualcomm accuses Apple of stealing ‘vast swaths’ of chip secrets and passing them to Intel – September 25, 2018
Qualcomm dealt another blow in second ITC action against Apple – September 19, 2018
Qualcomm CEO sees chance of Apple settlement this year – September 18, 2018
Qualcomm makes a tactical error in its battle with Apple – September 7, 2018
Magistrate judge rebukes Qualcomm for iPhone patent infringement allegations it originally chose not to bring – September 6, 2018
EU regulators charge Qualcomm with additional violation in pricing case – July 19, 2018
Apple petitions U.S. Patent Office to invalidate four Qualcomm patents – June 22, 2018
Apple brings 5G and national security into Qualcomm patent battle – June 18, 2018
Analyst: Apple, Qualcomm legal fight could settle this year – June 11, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook to be deposed in Qualcomm lawsuit – April 6, 2018
Judge Koh sets aside sanctions order against Apple in FTC v. Qualcomm antitrust case – February 8, 2018
Apple gets support from Lawyers for Civil Justice in fight against discovery sanctions – February 1, 2018
EU fines chipmaker Qualcomm $1.2 billion for paying Apple to shut out rivals’ chips – January 24, 2018
Apple sanctioned in Qualcomm FTC case for withholding documents – December 22, 2017
Apple countersues Qualcomm for patent infringement – November 29, 2017
Apple designing next-gen iPhones, iPads that would dump Qualcomm components – October 31, 2017


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