Apple avoids iPhone import ban as ITC rejects Qualcomm patent infringement claims [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 26
The U.S. International Trade Commission in a final determination on Tuesday nullified Qualcomm's bid for an iPhone import ban, finding a leveraged patent covering power efficiency technology to be invalid.




In a notice posted to the ITC website (PDF link), the commission sided with Apple's reading that a key claim in Qualcomm's U.S. Patent No. 9,535,490 is invalid based on prior art.

Specifically, Apple presented "clear and convincing evidence" that Qualcomm's IP claim, leveraged as ground for infringement, is obvious in respect to two previously issued patents. In effect, the commission denies the original granting of Qualcomm's claim, allowing Apple to skirt a ruling on potential infringement.

As a result of the determination, one of Qualcomm's bids to obtain a U.S. import ban against certain iPhone models has been quashed.

The decision concurs with a ruling from Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, who in September issued an initial determination regarding the '490 patent and two other Qualcomm patents claimed infringed. While the ALJ found potential infringement of the '490 patent -- subject of today's final determination -- Apple was absolved of impinging on Qualcomm's U.S. Patent Nos. 8,698,558 and 8,633,936.

Pender recommended against an exclusion order, saying such action would be counter to the public interest.

The commission adopted the initial determination of non-infringement in regard to the '558 and '936 patents, and resolved claim 31 of the '949 patent. Today's ruling effectively clears Apple of a possible ban on iPhone models using Intel chips instead of those supplied by Qualcomm.

The decision arrived hours after an ALJ in a separate case recommended a partial iPhone ban after determining technology in Apple's smartphone to be in infringement of one Qualcomm patent. A full commission review on the initial determination is slated for July.

Apple and Qualcomm are embroiled in a bitter legal struggle that spans courts and regulatory agencies around the globe. Apple kicked off the spat in 2017 with a suit claiming Qualcomm abuses its monopoly power in the wireless modem industry to demand excessive royalty rates.

Most recently, a U.S. federal jury earlier this month found Apple in infringement of Qualcomm IP, awarding the chipmaker $31 million in damages.

Update: Apple issued a statement on today's second ITC ruling to Bloomberg:

"We're pleased the ITC has found Qualcomm's latest patent claims invalid. It's another important step to making sure American companies are able to compete fairly in the marketplace. Qualcomm is using these cases to distract from having to answer for the real issues, their monopolistic business practices. They are being investigated by governments around the world for their behavior, and we look forward to detailing the many ways they're harming consumers and stifling innovation when we present our case in San Diego next month."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    I’m really confused here.  Other articles are saying an ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara ruled that Apple did violate a Qualcomm patent and faces a possible import ban. I know there are several court cases happening now, perhaps AI  could help by doing an article that maps them out. 
    edited March 26 bageljoeyrepressthisrandominternetpersonwlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,748member
    So does this new ruling invalidate the recommendation to ban iPhones from a few hours ago?  I don't understand why it's not explained clearly.
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    sflocal said:
    So does this new ruling invalidate the recommendation to ban iPhones from a few hours ago?  I don't understand why it's not explained clearly.

    No. This is the first case Qualcomm filed. The second case is the one ruled on earlier today. It just happens that the final result from the first case landed on the same day as the preliminary result in the second case.
    emoellerolsronnmuthuk_vanalingamrepressthisnetmagerandominternetpersonwlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    j2fusion said:
    I’m really confused here.  Other articles are saying an ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara ruled that Apple did violate a Qualcomm patent and faces a possible import ban. I know there are several court cases happening now, perhaps AI  could help by doing an article that maps them out. 
    These are two different cases:

    "The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday invalidated a Qualcomm patent for a battery-saving feature. Earlier in the day, a separate trade judge said Apple infringed a different Qualcomm patent and recommended certain older models of the iPhone be banned. The commission is scheduled to release a final decision in that case in July."



    ronnmuthuk_vanalingamwlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 763member
    urashid said:
    j2fusion said:
    I’m really confused here.  Other articles are saying an ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara ruled that Apple did violate a Qualcomm patent and faces a possible import ban. I know there are several court cases happening now, perhaps AI  could help by doing an article that maps them out. 
    These are two different cases:

    "The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday invalidated a Qualcomm patent for a battery-saving feature. Earlier in the day, a separate trade judge said Apple infringed a different Qualcomm patent and recommended certain older models of the iPhone be banned. The commission is scheduled to release a final decision in that case in July."



    That confused me too. I didn't realize that there were two separate cases before the ITC
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,268member
    DAalseth said:
    urashid said:
    j2fusion said:
    I’m really confused here.  Other articles are saying an ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara ruled that Apple did violate a Qualcomm patent and faces a possible import ban. I know there are several court cases happening now, perhaps AI  could help by doing an article that maps them out. 
    These are two different cases:

    "The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday invalidated a Qualcomm patent for a battery-saving feature. Earlier in the day, a separate trade judge said Apple infringed a different Qualcomm patent and recommended certain older models of the iPhone be banned. The commission is scheduled to release a final decision in that case in July."



    That confused me too. I didn't realize that there were two separate cases before the ITC
    The one AI reported on earlier isn't scheduled for a resolution until July. The wheels turn slow. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,703member
    FTA: “The decision arrived hours after an ALJ in a separate case (emphasis mine) recommended a partial iPhone ban after determining technology in Apple's smartphone to be in infringement of one Qualcomm patent.”

    It’s perfectly clear if you bother to read the whole article. Even includes a link to the earlier story for reference.
    edited March 26 ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,454member
    sflocal said:
    So does this new ruling invalidate the recommendation to ban iPhones from a few hours ago?  I don't understand why it's not explained clearly.
    It’s important to realize this was only a recommendation from a single judge. The full ITC may or may not agree with that recommendation.
    jbdragonchasmronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    I have one question: why did Apple supply a quote to Bloomberg?!?
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    So far, this whole thing is utterly confusing. The quality of reporting — not just from AI — is not helping in the least. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,497member
    LOL? 
  • Reply 12 of 12

    My martini and I understand everything. Wait, what are we talking about ?

    jdgazwatto_cobra
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