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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

A U.S. International Trade Commission judge today ruled that Apple has infringed on a Qualcomm patent with its iPhones, and has recommended that a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order be issued against Apple.

According to the ruling, Apple violated claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 8,063,674, "multiple supply-voltage power-up/down detectors." Apple did not violate two other patents that were involved in the case, with the infringement limited to the '674 patent.


The judge has recommended an import ban on infringing iPhones, which would prevent them from being sold in the United States.

As CNET points out, this is not a final ruling, and will need to be approved by a panel of judges before it moves on to presidential review.

This is one of two patent infringement rulings expected from the ITC in the ongoing Qualcomm vs. Apple legal battle. Back in September, an initial ruling in a second case also found that Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent related to power management technology.

The judge in that case recommended against an import ban because of "public interest factors."

Qualcomm wants the ITC to ban imports of AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use chips from Intel.

Qualcomm and Apple have been fighting in courts all over the world, and Qualcomm has successfully won import bans in China and Germany, which Apple has since skirted with software and hardware updates.

In the U.S., a jury recently found Apple guilty of infringing on three of Qualcomm's patents, recommending a fine of approximately $31 million in damages. Apple is appealing that ruling and the fight between the two companies is far from over.

Update: In a second patent infringement case that the ITC ruled on today [PDF], Apple was found not to have infringed on patented Qualcomm technology related to power management. This second ruling does not impact the first infringement ruling covered in the initial article.

Update 2: Apple provided Bloomberg with the following statement on the second ITC verdict: "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."

Article Link: U.S. ITC Judge Says Apple Infringed on Qualcomm Patent, Import Ban Recommended [Updated]
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macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
Qualcomm is only asking to go extinct.
Their aggressive actions awoke the beast. Innovation means Apple is now
Interested in making and designing their own modems. The result is not something Qualcomm wants. Especially as there is a transition to 5G in progress.
Qualcomm still owns a lot of 5G patents.
Plus all 5G modems will still have to be backward compatible with 3G/4G tech for a long time.
Apple will still have to pay them licensing fees on the SEP tech regardless of whether they design the modems or someone else does.


macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
Apple doesn't seem to do well in court cases. They need better lawyers. Settle under sealed terms rather than these public embarrassments.

It's not the lawyers, Apple's secrecy, inability to work with academia and do basic research, and aversion to work on standards boards means they have little leverage in this matter.

The last company who got in a dispute with Qualcomm, Broadcom, owned a large number of cellular standard patents, countersued, and got an import ban over Qualcomm chips. That forced Qualcomm to settle.

Apple has no ammunition, thanks to their philosophy. The dumb thing was going into this fight knowing that.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2018
Apple is going have to kick it into high gear and design their own modem or hope Intel make theirs better than Qualcomm. It seems there is just faint chance both Apple and Qualcomm will be doing future business together.

Analog Kid

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2003
According to the ruling, Apple violated claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 8,063,674, "multiple supply-voltage power-up/down detectors." Apple did not violate two other patents that were involved in the case, with the infringement limited to the '674 patent.
Thanks for giving the patent number! Every patent story should include these references.


macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2017
What does Qualcomm win with these lawsuits? A ban on the prouducts that use their chips? A one time monetary reward, but loss of future business? Just settle out of court Apple, and drive that final nail...
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