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US trade judge recommends import ban on some Apple iPhones

The long-running legal battle between Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. moved forward March 26 with a pair of rulings from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

In one case, a judge ruled that Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent with its iPhones and recommended that some older iPhone models containing chips made by Intel Corp. should be blocked from the U.S., Bloomberg News reported March 26.

The judge's recommendation is subject to review by the full commission and will not result in a ban unless the full ITC agrees, according to the report.

In a separate case, however, the ITC on March 26 said Qualcomm should not have been granted a patent for a battery saving feature, thus invalidating the patent.

The legal battle between the two companies stretches back two years. Apple in January 2017 filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for overcharging on licensing fees. In July 2017, Qualcomm responded with a lawsuit against Apple, alleging patent infringement. At the same time, the FTC has charged Qualcomm with monopolistic behavior and overcharging on licensing fees. Arguments in the FTC case ended Jan. 29, and both sides are awaiting the judge's decision. More recently, a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of California recently ruled that Qualcomm must pay back almost $1 billion of patent royalty rebates to Apple.