SAN FRANCISCO—The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) won't review an Oct. 22 determination by an administrative law judge which found that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. did not violate flash memory patents held by Spansion Inc., the ITC announced in a Wednesday (Dec. 23) posting on its website.
The ITC said it was terminating its investigation into the matter. The investigation began in November 2008, when Spansion (Sunnyvale, Calif.) filed a complaint with the ITC against Samsung and several other companies alleging infringement of flash memory patents.
In the Oct. 22 initial determination, ITC Administrative Law Judge Charles Bullock ruled that Samsung's products do not violate two Spansion patents at issue. Bullock also found that several claims of one Spanion patent, U.S. patent No. 5,715,194, are invalid.
"We are disappointed in the ITC’s decision," said a spokesperson for Spansion in an emailed statement. "We will continue to fight any violations of our patents to defend our investment in technology. We filed four additional patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung in August 2010."
In August, Spansion filed pantent infringement complaints against Samsung with the IT as well as U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Virginia and Northern California. Spansion's ITC complaints seek to bar from the U.S. market Samsung flash memory products that Spansion claims infringe its patents.
More IP sparring among companies. Patents and Copyrights are important for companies and individuals to maintain some modicum of protection for IP, but it would be interesting to know how many patent infringement lawsuits are in process on any particular day in the U.S. alone, and how much prosecuting and defending those lawsuits will cost regardless of the outcome. Of course, that cost has to include not only the lawyers and judges, but also the time of the engineers involved. It would also be interesting to know what percentage of those lawsuits are successful.