The US International Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday backed a claim that Apple violated patented Motorola Mobility technology in iPads and iPhones that can connect to 3G wireless networks.
Administrative law judge Thomas Pender ruled that the violation would qualify to have the offending gadgets banned from export into the United States.
Pender sided with Apple regarding three other patent violation claims by Motorola.
A final ruling from the quasi-judicial federal agency is expected later this year.
The technology industry was also awaiting the ITC's ultimate verdict regarding a preliminary ruling by a law judge there on Monday that Microsoft infringed on Motorola Mobility patents in its hit Xbox 360 videogame consoles.
Administrative law judge David Shaw backed four out of five Motorola claims that the company's intellectual property was usurped in Xbox software for tasks such as efficiently moving video files or connecting wirelessly to the Internet.
"Today's recommendation by the administrative law judge is the first step in the process leading to the Commission's final ruling," Microsoft said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
"We remain confident the Commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft's favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms."
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