The Apple and Samsung patent war resumes Friday
An appeals court will hear arguments on an import ban of Samsung products, while the USITC considers a separate ban
IDG News Service - Samsung Electronics faces the possibility of U.S. import bans on some of its smartphones in two separate cases brought by Apple, with major steps happening Friday.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to decide Friday whether Samsung infringed four Apple patents involving smartphone user interfaces and headphone input functionality.
The commission plans to move ahead with its decision and consider whether to ban the import of four Samsung smartphones, a USITC spokeswoman said, even after President Barack Obama's administration recently overturned an import ban the USITC approved against Apple products.
Meanwhile, in yet another patent infringement case between the two companies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to hear oral arguments Friday in an Apple appeal of a lower court decision rejecting an import ban when Samsung was found to infringe Apple patents. Those patents covered Apple designs and interfaces separate from the Apple patents now being considered at the USITC.
In the court case, a jury awarded Apple more than US$1 billion in damages before Judge Lucy Koh reduced the award by about $450 million. Apple wants an import ban in addition to the damages.
Back at the USITC, the U.S. Office of Trade Representative's (USTR's) decision overturning the import ban is not reversible by the USITC, the spokeswoman said.
Last Saturday's decision by the USTR to overrule the USITC's decision to ban the import of some Apple products, in a separate patent complaint brought by Samsung, may put commissioners in a difficult position, said Matthew Levy, patent counsel at the Computer and Communications Industry Association.
U.S. trading partners may see the decision by USTR to overturn the import ban on older Apple iPhones and iPads as an effort to protect U.S.-based Apple from Samsung, a South Korean company, Levy said. If the USITC now bans the import of some Samsung devices, other countries may see that as "favoritism," he said.
The USTR's decision "set up a difficult situation here," he added.
Some patent experts have criticized the USITC patent infringement process, questioning whether companies should be able to file parallel patent complaints in U.S. courts and at the commission. The USTR's veto of the import ban may signal to Apple and Samsung that it's time to negotiate a settlement in their long-running patent dispute, Levy said.
With import bans rejected by both the USTR and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, neither company is getting the outcomes they wanted when filing patent complaints, he said. "It's possible that both sides could end up getting little or nothing except huge legal bills," Levy added.
- In Apple v. Samsung, it's a 'holy war' for $2B
- A day into the trial, Apple and Samsung already annoying each other
- Supreme Court justices raise questions about software patents
- Phil Schiller up again in next round of Apple-Samsung battle
- Nokia and HTC bury hatchet in patent disputes
- How about them apples: Google and Samsung ink patent deal
- Samsung's Apple damages equal to just 16 days' profit
- Supreme Court to get software patent case
- The latest move to kill bad patents divides tech industry
- Judge refuses to stay Apple-Samsung lawsuit pending patent review
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Legal White Papers | Webcasts