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US Judge Backs Selected iPhone Ban Amid Qualcomm Saga

Apple has been dealt a notable blow in its dispute with component giant, Qualcomm, after a US trade judge recommended the ban of selected iPhones, citing a patent violation.

The recommendation was disclosed in a two-page ruling by International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge, MaryJoan McNamara, and is pending review from the ITC panel and President Trump.

Apple’s handsets are assembled overseas and imported into the US, with Judge McNamara not explicitly advising which iPhones should be banned.

The news comes after President Obama overruled an ITC court decision to ban select iPhones in 2013, following claims Apple had encroached on Samsung patents.

It’s not a total victory for Qualcomm, who on Tuesday saw some of its patent claims invalid – a case dating back to 2017.

Last year, several iPhones were banned in China following a Qualcomm lawsuit. Apple has also sued the component manufacturer US$1 billion for failing to pay for exclusive hardware distribution rights.

Following pushback, the European Union asserts such payments – the exclusive right to put its chips in iPhones – are illegal.

Apple has further pursued a relationship with Intel as tensions with Qualcomm have worsened, with the iPhone manufacturer no longer integrating Qualcomm models in handsets.

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