ITC comes down in Apple’s favour in patent battle with Samsung

Alan O'Doherty
August 12, 2013

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in favour of Apple in the case of two patents the California based-tech company claims were infringed on by Samsung.

The dispute has raged over the last three years and the latest ruling from the ITC asserts that technology used in some of Samsung’s older devices violate two of Apple’s patents. The patents in question are numbers 7,479,949 and 7,912,501. The first concerns touch-screen usability and the second relates to the ability of the handset to detect when something is plugged into the headphone jack.

The ruling means that Samsung will have just 60 days to continue selling devices using the offending technology in the US before an outright ban comes into force. However, this is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on Samsung’s success in the American market as the devices covered by the ban would be older handsets which are no longer part of Samsung’s American sales portfolio such as the  Samsung Continuum, Captivate, Fascinate, and the Galaxy S 4G.

It is also possible that US president Barack Obama could overturn the ITC’s ruling, though this seems unlikely given previous form; his previous intervention in the dispute was in Apple’s favour.

It’s not all bad news for Samsung though; the investigation also looked into Apple’s claims that Samsung had infringed on their cosmetic design features, but the ITC found that Samsung were safe on that front. Samsung acknowledged this in a statement on the ruling, saying “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.”

About the Author

Share this article