Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara said in a notice of initial determination that Apple infringed on one of three patents involved in the ongoing dispute, and recommended an import ban on certain iPhones, mostly older models.
“We are pleased that today ITC Judge McNamara found that Apple-designed processors infringe our ‘674 patent and will be recommending an import ban and cease and desist order to the commission,” said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel.
The technology covered by that patent improves power management in processor circuitry to improve battery life and is used in the iPhone 7 and later models.
But the judge’s decision is subject to review by the full board of the trade commission, which earlier in the day decided in favor of Apple.
The commission agreed with another judge’s earlier initial determination that two other Qualcomm patents were not infringed by Apple.
Qualcomm’s stock closed up 2.4 percent at $58 per share following news of the administrative law victory. Last month, the San Diego wireless pioneer won a patent case before a local jury.
However, the two companies still face a long period of contentious litigation.