On 13 June 2014, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a preliminary ruling in the case of InterDigital Inc. v. ZTE Corp that the handsets made by ZTE Corp did not violate InterDigital's patents for wireless phones.

The decision, made by Judge Theodore Essex of the commission, is subject to review by the full commission. The final ruling is expected to be issued in October. 

InterDigital, the US-based fundamental mobile-phone technology developer, found that the decision did not align with the validation of its portfolio and licensing practices as reflected in its agreements with major wireless companies worldwide. The company said in a statement that it would seek an appeal against the ruling. 

In the case ZTE is accused of infringing a patent of InterDigital for a method to improve transmissions and two other patents for mobile-phone technology. If ZTE is found guilty, ITC could exercise its power of banning the disputed products from being imported into the US.

As of the end of 2013, ZTE owned more than 52,000 patent assets, among them 16,000 were granted patents. The company ranked top in China and second globally in 2013 in terms of patent filing volume.