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The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday ruled that some of Samsung’s devices infringe two Apple patents, including one that covers multi-touch technology and another that covers headphone jack detection. Since numerous new smartphones and tablets from Samsung workaround the patents, the company still risks to lose some sales as certain older products may now be banned from import to the U.S.

After months of investigations, the ITC found Samsung guilty of infringing two of Apple’s patents, such as U.S. patent No. 7,479,949 that describes a "touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics" as well as U.S. patent No. 7,912,501 that covers an "audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry". Both patents cover essential functionality of modern smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other consumer electronics.

“With today’s decision, the ITC has joined courts around the world in Japan, Korea, Germany, Netherlands and California by standing up for innovation and rejecting Samsung’s blatant copying of Apple’s products. Protecting real innovation is what the patent system should be about,” said Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple.

At present, it is unclear, which smartphone models are covered by the actual import ban, which is subject to a 60-days review by the administration of President Barack Obama, reports Bloomberg news-agency. Until the ruling becomes a law, Samsung can import all of its smartphones into the U.S.

While Apple may celebrate a victory now, Foss Patents notes that the patent No. 7,479,949, which Apple once wanted to be called the “Jobs patent”, is under reexamination pressure, which means that eventually it may become a standards essential patent (SEP) that should be licensed on FRAND [fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory] terms.

“Apple has been stopped from trying to use its overbroad design patents to achieve a monopoly on rectangles and rounded corners. The proper focus for the smartphone industry is not a global war in the courts, but fair competition in the marketplace. Samsung will continue to launch many innovative products and we have already taken measures to ensure that all of our products will continue to be available in the United States,” said Adam Yates, a spokesman for Samsung.

The ruling by the ITC comes less than a week after the Obama administration overturned an ITC decision from June that would have banned the sales of some older-model Apple iPhones and iPads in the United States for violating Samsung patents, reports Reuters news-agency.

Since the U.S. trade representative vetoed the anti-Apple ITC ruling citing “effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers”, it would be possible to expect the administration to veto the current ruling citing similar reasons as well. However, since Samsung has presented examples of actual newer products that do not infringe the patents, the veto is not guaranteed, believes Florian Mueller of Foss Patents.

Tags: Apple, Samsung, Business, iOS, Android, iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, Galaxy Tab

Discussion

Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 08/10/13 05:17:25 AM
Latest comment: 03/28/14 06:31:24 AM
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1. 
[...] that covers an "audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry". Both patents cover essential functionality of modern smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other consumer electronics.


And functionality of my mainboard too (not from Samsung, nor Apple).
Thing worth its patent like Obama is worth its Nobel.
2 0 [Posted by: KonradK  | Date: 08/10/13 05:17:25 AM]
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2. 
Protect apple patent violation http://online.wsj.com/art...04578646192008412934.html and ban samsung ? Hypocracy at finest
3 0 [Posted by: jagd  | Date: 08/10/13 06:29:55 AM]
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Definitely some shady dealings going on there, but I suppose it's cheaper to circumvent ethics, than pay for a license to use the patents.
0 0 [Posted by: caring1  | Date: 08/10/13 02:29:10 PM]
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this is extremely stupid they should not have vetoed the ban for apple except if they give taxes on all the money they have locked away in the Caribbean islands and maybe invest X percent of it in semiconductor industry.
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 08/11/13 10:18:30 AM]
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3. 
So glad I live in Europe!
3 1 [Posted by: crointel  | Date: 08/10/13 11:35:42 AM]
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kitty grow up
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 08/21/13 01:24:30 PM]
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4. 
It's about as meaningful as the ban by the ITC on older Apple product imports to America awarded to Samsung, that was just recently overturned by an American trade official.
What's the point of going to court to fight over patents and get a ban awarded if some bureaucrat can over rule it, surely the ITC is the higher power?
It makes me wonder if the official and Apple had a deal and cash was exchanged?
1 0 [Posted by: caring1  | Date: 08/10/13 02:22:45 PM]
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5. 
show the post
0 5 [Posted by: novv  | Date: 08/11/13 02:00:49 PM]
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You must be new to this... Apple didn't invent anything, the just copied old ideas.
3 1 [Posted by: zaratustra06  | Date: 08/11/13 03:00:39 PM]
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You have to admit that the frst iPhone was a revolution on smartphone market
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 08/12/13 10:15:03 PM]
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You must think if you compare suits that all morons are the same. Well who could tell, i guess not you, that Samsung R&D is a way tedious than any apples backward engineering team. But hey rotten fruit know which teams need to employ to successful marketing, successful trade lobbing etc. In fact most of that overpricing on their products gos to lawyers and marketing agencies. Well i guess thats nothing new - It's just yuppies america. I guess these contemporary geriatric yuppies intend to close the casket down with themselves if they dont invent elixir of youth with all wealth they plundered.
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 08/21/13 01:32:14 PM]
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