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ITC rules Apple did not infringe five Nokia patents

In the latest round of patent battles in the smartphone arena, an International Trade Commission judge has ruled that Apple did not infringe five patents belonging to Nokia.

A report by Reuters noted that ITC Judge James Gildea has ruled "in his initial determination that Apple did not violate the Nokia patents."

Nokia's charges were filed in December of 2009, and broadly applied to iPhones, iPods and Macs, including user interface, camera, antenna and power management technologies.

Last winter, the ITC began formally investigating the charges, which Nokia sought a billion euros ($1.415 billion) in damages and could have resulted in an import ban of Apple products into the US.

Apple brought its own counterclaims against Nokia based on 13 patents of its own. In November, the ITC staff sided with Nokia in determining that Apple had not provided enough evidence to establish a patent violation.

While both companies have ongoing disputes with the ITC (due to its power to block imports into the US, offering heavy-handed bargaining leverage), there are often parallel cases filed in US district court aimed at winning financial damages as well as additional cases filed in Europe, the Reuters report stated.

Nokia has dramatically lost market share, giving up large portions of its once dominant Symbian platform installed base to Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android platform. The company has recently partnered with Microsoft to begin efforts to release new smartphones using Windows Phone 7 software.