Apple is facing a potential import ban on some of its iPhones, an International Trade Commission judge said Tuesday, because of the judge’s ruling that Apple infringes on some Qualcomm patents.
Judge MaryJoan McNamara’s decision is the latest in a slew of unfavorable rulings against Apple in a sprawling and international legal battle between the two technology giants. San Diego-based Qualcomm makes chips and other components in the iPhone and other smartphones, and Apple has stopped paying licensing fees to Qualcomm via its contract manufacturers because it claims Qualcomm was charging royalties for technology it didn’t actually invent.
“We appreciate Judge McNamara’s recognition of Apple’s infringement of our hardware patent and that she will be recommending an import ban and cease and desist order,” Qualcomm vice president and general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.
McNamara will officially rule on the case within the next two weeks. Then, it will go to the full ITC panel for review in July. Following that, there is a 60-day presidential review period. Any import ban would probably take place in the fall.
The ITC ruled Tuesday on another Qualcomm patent, this time siding with Apple and invalidating Qualcomm’s patent.
Apple sued Qualcomm in January 2017 in federal court. Qualcomm, in turn, countersued in Germany, China and the U.S. and has racked up some legal victories against the iPhone maker.
Apple’s initial lawsuit is scheduled for trial next month in federal court in San Diego.