(Reuters) – The employees of the U.S. Worldwide Commerce Fee on Friday advisable commerce choose discover that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) infringed not less than certainly one of Qualcomm Inc’s (QCOM.O) patents, a transfer that would result in blocking the import of some iPhones.

FILE PHOTO: A girl seems to be on the display of her cell phone in entrance of an Apple brand exterior its retailer in Shanghai, China July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Music/File Picture

The San Diego chipmaker filed a criticism towards Apple almost a 12 months in the past, asking the fee to ban the import of iPhones containing rival chipmaker Intel Corp’s (INTC.O) so-called modem chips, which assist cell phones connect with wi-fi knowledge networks.

At a trial in Washington that began on Friday, the ITC employees stated Apple violated certainly one of Qualcomm’s patents round battery-saving expertise.

FILE PHOTO: An indication on the Qualcomm campus is seen in San Diego, California, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Picture

The ITC employees acts as a 3rd celebration in such commerce instances. The employees attorneys’ opinions are usually not binding, however judges usually observe them.

    In earlier filings within the ITC case, Apple has argued that Qualcomm’s patents are invalid and that, regardless, the choose mustn’t ban Intel-based iPhones as a result of it will give Qualcomm a monopoly on modems in the US and drive Intel out of the modem enterprise.

    “Qualcomm is selectively asserting its patents to focus on solely Apple merchandise containing Intel chipsets — despite the fact that its patent infringement allegations would apply equally to Apple merchandise containing Qualcomm chipsets — in an try to make use of the ITC as one other mechanism for perpetuating its ill-gotten monopoly place,” Apple wrote.

    The ITC case is the primary to go to trial out of greater than a dozen authorized fights between Apple and Qualcomm over patents, licensing practices and contracts between the 2. A choice is anticipated by January.

    If the ITC choose decides to ban some iPhone imports, Qualcomm might use that to attempt to persuade Apple to settle or drop a number of of the opposite patent and contract instances, authorized specialists have stated.

    Apple has argued that a few of Qualcomm’s practices are unlawful, and the chipmaker has paid billions of in fines from antitrust regulators in a number of nations, although it’s nonetheless interesting a few of these rulings.

    Qualcomm says its practices are authorized and had been accepted by clients for a few years because the smartphone business boomed, but it surely has made some adjustments to its licensing mannequin of taking a minimize of the promoting value of a tool in a bid to ease tensions with clients and regulators.

    Reporting by Jan Wolfe in Washington, and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Modifying by Cynthia Osterman