In the present case, Qualcomm argued that Apple iPhones made with Intel chips violated two of their patents. These patents relate to methods that improve the speed and quality of data downloads. The complaint focused exclusively on the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, although it is not clear whether the ban on sales proposed by ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara would also affect other models.
In a separate decision by the ITC, the Commission dismissed Qualcomm's complaints that Apple infringed a patent for a battery saver. As a result of these findings, the ITC decided not to impose an import ban, as required by Qualcomm. This decision is still subject to review by the Full Commission, which intends to complete the full investigation of the cases by July.
The patent fights between Apple and Qualcomm are being brought before courts around the world. Judges in Germany and China have already stated that Apple is violating Qualcomm patents and has temporarily banned some iPhone models. Apple has managed to circumvent these bans by relying on Qualcomm chips in older models of iPhones sold in Germany and offering a software update in China addressing the functionality of the infringing patents.