Apple has won a preliminary ruling from the International Trade Commission in a copyright infringement case against smartphone maker HTC.
An International Trade Commission (ITC) administrative judge ruled HTC infringed two of four patents. Apple dropped six of the 10 patents it initially accused HTC of infringing.
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The full commission must now rule on whether it will uphold or reverse the preliminary ruling by an administrative judge, according to Reuters.
The final ITC ruling is expected in December, but Apple has filed a parallel lawsuit against HTC in a court in the US District Court in Delaware.
The ITC has the power to bar devices using patent-infringing technology from being imported into the US. Parallel lawsuits are filed in district courts in an attempt to recoup financial damages.
Despite the preliminary ruling against HTC, the company claims it has a strong case for the ITC appeals process.
"We are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible," said HTC legal representative Grace Lei in a statement.
HTC last week told Apple, which is also suing Samsung for allegedly copying Apple product designs, that it should aim to compete instead of resorting to legal action.