As mentioned earlier, it’s a triple witching day for Apple’s legal and intellectual property teams, with multiple decisions expected. The US ITC ruling on Apple’s patent case against Samsung, where Apple had claimed infringement of multiple patents, has arrived: the commission found that the Korean electronics giant did indeed infringe on two patents, while no violation was found on four others. The infringement remedy is an import ban covering the affected devices.
The infringed patents in this case are the ‘949 patent (“Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”) and the ‘501 patent (“Audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry”). FOSS Patents, as usual, has a solid rundown of the ruling, pointing out the difference between these patents (which are not part of any industry standard, and are not covered under FRAND licensing conventions) and the ones Samsung asserted against Apple, resulting in an overturned import ban.
While the commission’s import ban order is set to take effect at the end of the statutory 60-day review period, the original case dealt with older Samsung devices that are probably not high on the import quota list today. The question, however, is whether Samsung’s newer devices are still using the same designs that infringed the Apple patents, or whether they’ve been worked around successfully since then. If they haven’t, that could mean a chunk of trouble for Samsung.