By Dan GartlandThe USMCA has said it has been unable to obtain Apple’s copyright license to the design and graphics on the iPhone 5s because of a “lack of intellectual property”.
Apple sued in July to enforce the licence after the USMSA had granted the iPhone maker an exclusive licensing agreement.
The iPhone maker argued that the US MCA’s exclusive licence was not valid under US law because it only applied to “use of the patented design and technical details of the iPhone”, and not the device itself.
The US Copyright Office said it could not find any such “design and technical detail” of the Apple iPhone 5S in the US, which it said had been used in the design of the phone and its accessories.
It is not the first time that the American Copyright Office has faced the prospect of a battle with Apple.
In 2014, it ordered Apple to pay $1.9bn in damages after a US court ruled that the company had infringed the US Copyright Act.
Apple won the case, but the court ruled in favour of the US and ordered the US government to pay Apple $3.4bn in compensation.
Apple’s US copyright claims had been dismissed in 2016 after the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Apple’s arguments that the court had failed to consider a range of competing claims and had erred in ruling that the patent-holding patent holder was entitled to a fair trial.
Apple had also appealed the court’s decision in the California Court of Appeal, arguing that it was wrong for the court to be allowed to consider its previous rulings and had been improperly granted a second opportunity to consider those rulings.
The company also sought a hearing at the Federal District Court in San Francisco, and in March, the court granted a hearing there.
Apple said it was now ready to take the case to the Federal Court of appeals, which could take up to six months.