In the Monday hearing, Apple accused HTC of infringing on five Apple patents that focus on the "seamless integration of hardware and software." The patents describe methods for signal processing and inter-process communications. Nokia allegedly infringes on one of these signal processing patents. Apple sought a ban on the import of HTC's Android handsets as well as select Nokia devices.
This initial ruling is a setback for Apple, but it's not the end of the line. The full six member ITC commission still has to review the case and rule on this initial decision. The commission has the opportunity to reverse this decision, but this initial ruling often weighs heavily in the commission's final decision.
Apple could always opt to do what Nokia did when the ITC ruled against the Finnish company in its complaint with Apple. A few days after the ITC ruled against Nokia, the Finnish company filed a second infringement complaint against Apple that focused on seven new patents.