ITC Finds Qualcomm Patent Claim Is Invalid In Its Request To Block Some iPhones

BY Heather Greenfield
March 26, 2019

Washington — The International Trade Commission has declined to block some iPhones from the US market over a questionable patent dispute from Qualcomm, saying today the claim was invalid.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association had filed comments last month agreeing with Administrative Law Judge Pender that such a claim by Qualcomm was not in the public interest.

CCIA is an international not for profit tech trade association, whose members do not include Qualcomm or Apple. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The International Trade Commission’s decision today in the Qualcomm v. Apple investigation will help protect fair competition in wireless semiconductors as well as the public interest.  The Commission found that Qualcomm’s entire effort was based on an invalid claim. Had Qualcomm succeeded, it could have done serious harm to the U.S.’s ability to remain competitive in 5G wireless technology and to U.S. national security.”

In addition to a ruling in that case, there was also a decision from an Administrative Law Judge in a second Qualcomm ITC case.  In the second case, the judge disagreed with ITC staff recommendations and found Qualcomm’s patent valid and infringed and recommended issuing an exclusion order.  That recommendation must still be reviewed by the Commission. The following can be attributed to CCIA Patent Counsel Josh Landau:

“I hope that the Commission will consider the impact on competition and the public interest when it reviews ALJ McNamara’s decision in the second Qualcomm v. Apple investigation.  The important decision today would be undermined if the Commission reaches a contrary result in the second Qualcomm case.”

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