Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report shares extended gains Wednesday after the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled against banning imports of some of its iPhones linked to a complicated patent dispute with Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) - Get Report .
The ruling late Tuesday in Washington followed an earlier, non-binding decision on a separate dispute between the two companies, which centers on allegations that Apple infringed on Qualcomm's patent rights, that went in favor of the San Diego, California-based chipmaker.
The full ITC panel over-ruled a September decision that would have banned the import of Apple's iPhones 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X that contain chips made by Intel Inc. (INTC) - Get Report . Apple can have the separate, non-biding decision from ITC Judge Mary Joan McNamara reviewed by the full panel of the ITC in a few month's time.
"We're pleased the ITC has found Qualcomm's latest patent claims invalid, it's another important step to making sure American companies are able to compete fairly in the marketplace," Apple said in a statement. "Qualcomm is using these cases to distract from having to answer for the real issues, their monopolistic business practices."
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Apple shares were marked 1.2% higher Wednesday at $188.90 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 20% and value the world's biggest company at just under $900 billion.
Qualcomm said the full ITC decision was "inconsistent with the recent unanimous jury verdict finding infringement of the same patent after Apple abandoned its invalidity defense at the end of trial" and said it would "seek reconsideration by the Commission in view of the jury verdict", in reference to a victory it won in Federal court in San Diego earlier this month.
The two companies have traded blows in both the ITC disputes and various legal and regulatory panels around the world for the past two years over a dispute that has Apple accusing Qualcomm of gouging it on royalty payments and Qualcomm insisting on a fair return from iPhones revenues for its chip technology.
Apple had to concede defeat in a similar case in Germany last month when it agreed to sell iPhones with only Qualcomm chips, instead of those made by Intel.
The next major step in the dispute now moves to the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, where Judge Lucy Koh will soon preside over an antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission that Qualcomm abused its monopoly position in mobile chip technology.