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ITC to examine Qualcomm's request for US iPhone import ban

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ITC to examine Qualcomm's request for US iPhone import ban

The U.S. International Trade Commission will review a recommendation by a judge in September to dismiss QUALCOMM Inc.'s request to ban imports of some Apple Inc. iPhones in the U.S., Reuters reported Dec. 12.

In a July 2017 complaint with the ITC, Qualcomm accused Apple of infringing six of its patents for key technologies that are used in some iPhone models and urged the agency to issue an order that would ban U.S. importation of the devices. Qualcomm later dropped three of the six patents from the case.

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 Qualcomm's patents, but cleared the iPhone maker of infringing the other two. Pender also recommended the agency to not grant Qualcomm's request to ban imports of the iPhones into the U.S., arguing that it was not in the public interest.

The ITC said it would review whether Apple infringed on the one patent and also whether it was right not to grant the relief Qualcomm had sought to ban imports of the device into the U.S. A final ruling is due before Feb. 19, 2019.

A Chinese court recently granted Qualcomm a preliminary injunction against Apple, banning the import and sale of several iPhone models in China that the court found violated two of the chip maker's patents.