In the present case, Qualcomm claimed that Apple iPhones made with Intel chips infringe two of their patents. These patents relate to methods that improve the speed and quality of the data transfers. The complaint focused solely on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but it is not clear whether the sales pitch proposed by ITC judge MaryJoan McNamara would also affect other models.
In a separate decision issued by the ITC, the Commission rejected Qualcomm's complaints that Apple infringed on a battery-saving feature patent. As a result of its findings, the ITC decided not to issue an import ban requested by Qualcomm. This decision remains subject to review by the entire Commission, which is planning to complete its full investigation into the cases in July.
The patent match between Apple and Qualcomm has been ongoing in courts around the world. Judges in Germany and China have already found that Apple has violated Qualcomm patents and issued temporary bans on some iPhone models. Apple has managed to get around these bans by returning to the use of Qualcomm chips in older models of iPhones sold in Germany, and offering a software update in China to address patented functionality.