U.S. Regulators Agree to Investigate Apple's Patent Claims Against Samsung
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic digital media devices and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation include mobile phone handsets and tablet computers, in addition to components such as software, touchpads, and hardware interfaces.Apple kicked off the dispute with a lawsuit filed against Samsung in mid-April claiming that a number of Samsung's smartphone and tablet devices had copied Apple's designs and functionality. Apple did not file a complaint with the ITC at that time.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, on July 5, 2011. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic digital media devices and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by Apple. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The dispute escalated after that time, with Samsung filing a number of countersuits and Apple filing additional suits against Samsung in a number of countries. Samsung also took its case to the ITC in late June, a move which prompted Apple to follow suit a week later. The ITC last week agreed to investigate Samsung's complaint against Apple.
The maneuvering comes as Bloomberg reports that Samsung has delayed the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia after reaching an agreement with Apple related to the iPad maker's request for an injunction against the release of the Galaxy Tab. Samsung has publicly stated that it still intends to release the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in the "near future" and that it never intended to release the U.S. version that is the topic of the injunction proceedings in Australia. The company has not, however, denied that there has been a delay in the device's launch and that Apple will have access to the Australian version a week before its scheduled debut so that Apple can determine whether to amend its injunction request to include the variation.