ITC rules Samsung infringed on Apple patents, orders import ban

By on August 10, 2013, 9:30 AM
apple, samsung, itc, sales ban, international trade commission, import ban

In an ironic turn of events, the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined that Samsung infringed on two patents owned by Apple. The decision comes less than a week after the Obama administration vetoed an earlier ruling by the ITC that banned the import and sale of older models of Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Back in December, ITC Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender suggested that select Samsung smartphones be banned as they infringed on four different Apple patents. A month later, the ITC said they would review the decision. Friday’s ruling is the result of the ITC’s review.

The patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, which relates to a touch screen and user interface and U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501 which deals with detecting when a headset is connected. The ITC said Samsung didn’t infringe on the other two patents. In a statement on the matter, the ITC said the decision is final and the investigation has been closed.

It’s unclear at this hour which Samsung devices are in violation and will be banned as the original case cited four different models.

As was the case with the previous ruling that saw Apple devices banned, the ban on Samsung devices won’t go into effect until 60 days but can be blocked by a favorable ruling following a presidential review. That seems unlikely as such a block has only been issued once since 1987 – last week’s ruling in favor of Apple.




User Comments: 38

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NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

It's like a landmine out there when it comes to patents

wastedkill said:

Since when did apple create touchscreens and multi touch screens as well as detecting when a headset if connected? as far as I know these have been out years and they cant be patented by apple as apple didn't create them otherwise where are all the other lawsuits to companies like microsoft, google and all the other phone makers?

Guest said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

Nivagely Nivagely said:

Bet you that Obama's administration won't interfere with this Ban. Patents nowadays are disgusting pieces of control.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

Keep telling yourself that.

1 person liked this | Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

The US just drips with corruption at all 3 levels of government.. I feel for the common man in that country. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung just says ' F you US' as carries on with the rest of the world. I doubt they would , but you can bet there would be some dancing by the politicos if the companies that were getting Fed over decided the US was not worth it's time any more. It's at the point where China is easier to do business with on a legal level then the US.

Guest said:

It is also because Samsung sued Apple over SEP which are suppose to be FRAND. Samsung was asking for over $2 per device while receiving less than $.50 per device from other manufacturers. This ban is not about SEP patents but rather design and use patents - totally different. Non-SEP patents need to be enforced otherwise IP will be stolen and innovation will stop. Samsung signed an agreement when their patents were accepted as SEP, they broke their pledge. Now they have been caught (again, see EU complaints) stealing Apple's IP without any compensation...

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

In an ideal world yes, in this current economy, no.

Guest said:

It doesnt feel that its just about patents. I mean we all know that Motorola could slap Apple with a few " you copied us " comments, lawsuits w/e.

Feels to me both companies are wanting to show who is the bigger dog, by how many people they have in pocket who can sway the rulings. Its so much back and forth over the same crap for god knows how long.

fimbles fimbles said:

Waiting for the day when all patent monkeys sue each other out of existence, And leave a vast untouchable pile of technology behind them.

Well done.

nhirsch said:

Why the author says it is unlikely because only one instance since 1987 when the one instance was one week ago and almost the mirror image of this with the same companies. I hope the Presidential review will do the same for Samsung that it just did for Apple

chrsplmr chrsplmr said:

This will be interesting. The President should have no choice in this but to be impartial veto to these since the precedent standard has been set in the Apple case. To not do so is to reward a donor while harming their competitor. Samsung is good for the economy as is competition. If this holds will Apple reverse and re-raise pricing ?? Interesting indeed.

Guest said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

shamurti said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

Keep telling yourself that.

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

shamurti said:

The US just drips with corruption at all 3 levels of government.. I feel for the common man in that country. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung just says ' F you US' as carries on with the rest of the world. I doubt they would , but you can bet there would be some dancing by the politicos if the companies that were getting Fed over decided the US was not worth it's time any more. It's at the point where China is easier to do business with on a legal level then the US.

Samsung can take their pile of cheap crap and dump them somewhere else. Don't need them.

Guest said:

LOL.

Samsung can take their pile of cheap crap and dump them somewhere else. Don't need them.

Look what happens when you feed a troll Apple...

Guest said:

Guest said:

LOL.

Samsung can take their pile of cheap crap and dump them somewhere else. Don't need them.

Look what happens when you feed a troll Apple...

I hate to break it to you, but the most important innards of your shiny iOS device are made by Samsung. I say this as an iphone owner, Apple is biting the hand that feeds. TWSC has not proven themselves capable of matching the yields of samsung when it comes to iOS device's processors.

Jasterthemaster Jasterthemaster said:

The US just drips with corruption at all 3 levels of government.. I feel for the common man in that country. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung just says ' F you US' as carries on with the rest of the world. I doubt they would , but you can bet there would be some dancing by the politicos if the companies that were getting Fed over decided the US was not worth it's time any more. It's at the point where China is easier to do business with on a legal level then the US.

Samsung can take their pile of cheap crap and dump them somewhere else. Don't need them.

Hardware-wise apple is good.. but their software in my personal opinion is wrong.. I wont buy apple because of it.. I would take my Samsung Note 2 over an iphone anyday (soon to be getting Note3)

But you got to remember... To each his own... just because the software is not to my liking doesnt mean that it wont fit perfectly with someone else who doesnt want the customizability/flexibility.

Thats the good thing about having more than 1 company and products.. so never say take a product elsewhere

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

The US just drips with corruption at all 3 levels of government.. I feel for the common man in that country. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung just says ' F you US' as carries on with the rest of the world. I doubt they would , but you can bet there would be some dancing by the politicos if the companies that were getting Fed over decided the US was not worth it's time any more. It's at the point where China is easier to do business with on a legal level then the US.
The first 6 words were all you needed.

Gopal Bhat Gopal Bhat said:

What a joke.

Hope Apple go down the pan.

I also hope Samsung don't give them access to their 3D vertical nand. Well maybe at 3x the normal cost.

Apple. What a bunch of vultures.

They really have traded litigation for innovation. And their board wonders why they're lacking innovation.

Guest said:

With the new words from obama, im starting to like the idea of joining korea in the war against the us... just bc apple pays a little money and donates alot of votes for obama, he should never have taken their side anyway.

go korea, smite the lame obama and hes apple.

MilwaukeeMike said:

The US just drips with corruption at all 3 levels of government.. I feel for the common man in that country. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung just says ' F you US' as carries on with the rest of the world. I doubt they would , but you can bet there would be some dancing by the politicos if the companies that were getting Fed over decided the US was not worth it's time any more. It's at the point where China is easier to do business with on a legal level then the US.
The first 6 words were all you needed.

Except that this has nothing to do with corruption... Corruption is when a person in power uses that power for their own personal gain. All they're doing in this case is enforcing patent law. The problem is that they granted these patents in the first place and Apple (in this case) is petty enough to sue over them.

You're right, they won't quit the biggest market in the world because we have an outdated patent system. And don't forget Apple and Samsung are having these battles in European countries too. China probably is much easier to deal with, but in China you also have to deal with anyone who can slap a screen into a white case putting your product's name on the side. It doesn't even matter if China is easier or not, they don't have to pick one country or the other to sell phones in, they're going to sell phones in as many countries as they can.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Except that this has nothing to do with corruption...
Just keep telling yourself that.

There is nothing ironic about ITC making a ruling in Apples favor within a week of the Obama Administration showing favor toward Apple. It doesn't take a wiki-leak to figure out there were strings pulled. These patents are all BS, and winning in anyones favor is pathetic. Can you imagine the ramifications involved, if ITC had ruled in what appeared to be against the Obama Administration?

Corruption comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. There is corruption in our local law offices. Corruption that would put a business out-of-business, if the owner doesn't fit into the main click. And to think this same corruption doesn't exist on a global scale is naive. And to label the tools used as not related is... well... I'm sure anyone can finish that statement.

Guest said:

Well like it or not. A lot of companies steal ideas. The first ever computer apple with a mouse. All in one computer. First ever computer to have a 3 1/2 inch drive or even usb ports as well as firewire. The first ever computer with a graphics interface os. First ever computer to have a flat panel screen and be all in one. So let me see the new HP and all other computers that start to look like apples iMac. So just because Apple has not gone after all of these companies. Does not make it right. Also the finger pinch and flick. That was iPhone only and now all smart phones mimic it. Also the argument that apple does not make these devices but had others manufacture them to their speck. Does not give the manufacturer ownership. Or what samsung thinks. If apple has their products manufactured by samsung to their speck and now samsung thinks they can steel the technology involved. They can't and it may go both ways. These companies need to figure out how to play fair in the market and pay for innovation and not waist money in the stupid court system and spend billions and incur billions in damages by stupid bans like these. Both apple and samsung products are banned so who suffer. The consumers. Same way you can not have an iphone or can't call an iPad, iPad in China. Pretty dumb if you ask me. This world is nuts.

2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Just keep telling yourself that.

There is nothing ironic about ITC making a ruling in Apples favor within a week of the Obama Administration showing favor toward Apple. It doesn't take a wiki-leak to figure out there were strings pulled. These patents are all BS, and winning in anyones favor is pathetic. Can you imagine the ramifications involved, if ITC had ruled in what appeared to be against the Obama Administration?

Corruption comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. There is corruption in our local law offices. Corruption that would put a business out-of-business, if the owner doesn't fit into the main click. And to think this same corruption doesn't exist on a global scale is naive. And to label the tools used as not related is... well... I'm sure anyone can finish that statement.

If you're suggesting that the ITC ruled in favor of Apple because Obama just did then you're right, that's possible, but there's no evidence of it. You can't say a system if corrupt just because two parties (the ITC and Obama) happened to agree. Does that mean every time a home team wins a game its because the refs are corrupt? Have you considered that maybe Apple is in the right? That means it's not a coincidence (not irony, irony would be if the ITC ruled in the opposite way from Obama).

You're right the patents are BS, but they're not BS because Samsung isn't infringing on them, Samsung is infringing on them all the time, just like Apple is infringing on Samsung's all the time. The patents are BS because no one should be able to patent basic common stuff like Apple has patented. Apple has patented rounded corners and the height/width ratio of the ipad.... which is the same as a sheet of paper. That's completely BS. So yeah, Samsung infringes on it, because there's no way not to.

In order to win a patent case you have to prove the party infringing on your patent is affecting your sales. Apple may be able to do that easier now that their sales are going down.

Regardless, the import ban is pretty harsh.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If you're suggesting...
I gotta admit; I don't have a comeback, and completely agree!

Guest said:

People have always copied each other - take a tour round Benjamin Franklin's house and find out how many of his "original" ideas he copied from overseas.

Samsung should pare down its US operations to one call centre operator saying, "sorry, all our lines are busy, let me transfer you..".....and start up over the border, one in Canada and one in Mexico.

If the US gov't is too stupid to realise the benefit Samsung bring to the US economy, the benefit should be removed. Give Canada and Mexico the jobs, and then the US gov't will claim they are "loving their neighbour" (while spying on them).

The law is a joke and the hypocritical gov't is laughing at us.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists)

Good boy. A trillion more times and it could become reality.

1 person liked this | hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

If the ban only affects 4 phones, I don't think Samsung has much to worry about. The S5 is around the corner, and so is the Note 3, assuming those are even included. Samsung can make the necessary changes in time. Four phones for Apple is their whole line minus their latest device.

Obama should veto this one too and maybe both parties will think twice before starting another patent war. Someone has to keep these two in their neutral corners.

Hey, I can dream.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Obama should veto this one too and maybe both parties will think twice before starting another patent war. Someone has to keep these two in their neutral corners.
Obama should kick out all current patent suits, tell everyone to innovate with something new or die.

misor misor said:

If the ban only affects 4 phones, I don't think Samsung has much to worry about. The S5 is around the corner, and so is the Note 3, assuming those are even included. Samsung can make the necessary changes in time. Four phones for Apple is their whole line minus their latest device.

Obama should veto this one too and maybe both parties will think twice before starting another patent war. Someone has to keep these two in their neutral corners.

Hey, I can dream.

maybe samsung's release of many models is its last line of defense.

if a certain amount of Samsung phones are banned, then the other phone models will still get through.

Guest said:

After reading this article I was so angry that I had to smash my iPad, iPhone and framed pictures of Steve.

So long Apple. Go eat yourself. Stupid name for a company anyway.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

The Obama administration should have never vetoed the Apple ban in the first place. Maybe if both companies faced an import ban they would learn a lesson. These patent wars are just senseless and they are slowing down innovation.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Samsung and former Goldstar (LG) these two companies are so huge now, not funny. Samsung I am sure their engineers reverse engineer Apple and Motorola Smartphones and take that tech an implement that into their Smartphones. You can clearly see how close everything looks the same way and layout. The only thing different is the name on the device.

Samsung needs to be more original thinking and stop copying from Apple and Motorola. Like Hyundai does with Honda of course you can see how both operate differently.

I won't buy anything from Samsung again, quality it not there! So for HDTV SONY and digital camera SONY, Blue-Ray SONY. Smartphone Motorola been at it longer in communication devices.

MrAnderson said:

I should hurt the economy just as bad if Samsung has to ban any other their modern Phones in circulation. I'm not sure how valid the touch screen patent is, considering muli-touch stuff was out, but not on a device. I would argue that that technology is an extension and is obvious when using the type of touch interface to a smaller device. Now for the audio I/O, it feels like Apple has them more. I knew of various plugs being used in phones and some having the outcomes involved, but I don't know if Apple li licensed this technology. However, after viewing the filing date, it feels like we have had a least a subset of this technology way before 2007. So Now I'm no sure, because on feature phones we have had volume control and perhaps end call from the headphones, and even some MP3 Players had a LCD screen that transmitted device activity over the wire. I guess it depends on when it gets down to the hardware designed. Sigh... so in this case Samsung is screwed.

Again if the current Admin did it for Apple, then the same should be done for Samsung to neutralize, 1st what can be argued as an event still likely to harm the US economy. Moreover, to lesson the chilling effect of using ITC for any arbitrations in the future by domestic and international business alike.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Bye bye S4 in US?

Guest said:

So...

Anyone else completely unsurprised that the American ITC and government backs a US company while ******** on a South Korean company?

At the end of the day it's a whole load of bull. Of course Apple are always going to get a favorable result from the US. This has nothing to do with patents and has more to do with the US wanting to be further in control of the smartphone market. Apple are free to continue to run anti-competitive practices and violate anyone else's rights, since any judgement against them can easily be thrown out. Personally I'd like to see Apple threatened with an EU and Asia ban until they start acting like a professional company and not like a playground bully. Let see how they react if all they have is their corrupt US market.

Guest said:

If we all went open source the world would be a better place (of course not for K-capitalists).

No, the world would be a worse place since the very nature of open source is anti-innovation.

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