NEW YORK—The U.S. International Trade Commission Tuesday (June 4) issued a ruling that would prevent Apple Inc. from importing its several models of its iPad media tablet and iPhone smartphone into the U.S.
The ruling, based on a complaint made by South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., finds that several iPad and iPhone models—including iPhone 4—violate several claims of a patent held by Samsung. U.S. President Barack Obama has 60 days to overturn the ruling.
The ITC ruling, which largely backs an initial ruling made by one of its administrative law judges, also finds that Apple's products do not violate other patents asserted by Samsung.
Apple is likely to appeal the ruling.
Apple and Samsung have been engaged in patent battles in many parts of the globe for the past two years. The legal wrangling has strained the relationship of the long-time partners.
Frank, thanks for the clarification! Now it looks like both importing and a federal court damage award makes this a one two punch. Is there any interest between the parties to fix and license these or has everyone now just going to move on..?
No. ITC has no authority to award monetary damages. It's only punitive weapon is to ban importation. Federal courts, on the other hand, can either award monetary damages, ban importation, or both. Note that in last year's Apple victory over Samsung in federal court, the court awarded monetary damages but did not ban the importation of the affected Samsung devices.
I wonder what happens to support and service for all the current owners of these import banded devices? Is there a way to get replacements, parts, or is the consumer the one who gets hurt? While I may not have the patience to read through all the legalize I would think that the only way to get a company's attention would be with a combination of import blocks and fines. Are there any fines involved here?
Note that the patent in question is a "standard essential patent". The holder of such a patent is expected to offer to license it to anyone who wants to use it, with fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms.
This may be a victory for Samsung, but I wonder if it isn't a blow to standards bodies? The FRAND terms for standad essential patents are fundamental in getting companies to adopt a standard and use it in their products. I have not been able to find any news story that says whether Apple offered to pay the license fee and Samsung refused, or not. If in fact that is what happened, this ruling takes on a much greater meaning than just Apple vs. Samsung.
Disclaimer: As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.
This seems to be a reply from Samsung that some of their products are being blocked in Europe because of their violation of Apple's patents.
It is the inevitable result of patent war; it does no good to no one.
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