U.S. Regulators Agree to Investigate Apple's Patent Claims Against Samsung


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today announced that it has agreed to investigate claims of patent infringement made by Apple 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.

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.

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.

samsung logo
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.

Top Rated Comments

spazzcat Avatar
124 months ago

If apple loses the case they will be paying a huge premium and money to samsung. Part of the agreement since Samsung I believe agree to it as well is if Apple loses they will be paying Samsung for the money they loss.

Not really telling at all.

Apple is looking more and more like just someone running scared sueing anyone who is a threat to them.

Apple has to try and protect their IP. They wouldn't go this route if they didn't think they had a case...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Plas00 Avatar
124 months ago
Good. Competion is great but plain stealing form factors and tech just because you are one of the manufacturers of the competition's successful devices says a lot of how Samsung has no issues in ripping off its customers (corporate and retail).
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
124 months ago
Apple's confidence and their insistence on pursuing these parties should be an indication that Apple is onto something, and that this most certainly isn't any sort of frivolity.

This alone is quite telling:

Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ethana Avatar
124 months ago

Apple is looking more and more like just someone running scared sueing anyone who is a threat to them.

Totally disagree. What are the points of copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc then? Does Apple just ignore that they feel these are being violated? How would you feel if you created something and then someone created something nearly identical?

Apple OBVIOUSLY feels they have a strong case. Are they doing this because Samsung is gaining ground with these new products? Yes. But they also feel that Samsung products are gaining ground because of the IP they stole from Apple, not something Samsung created on their own.

There is a reason Apple specifically chose to go after Samsung (a close partner of theirs for a long time) hard and with force. It's because Apple feels it's the most blatant rip-off of the bunch out there.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Winni Avatar
124 months ago

Good. Competion is great but plain stealing form factors and tech just because you are one of the manufacturers of the competition's successful devices says a lot of how Samsung has no issues in ripping off its customers (corporate and retail).

Is the Holy Inquisition of the Holy Church of Apple at work again...?

You probably don't even have the faintest idea of how many ideas Apple has stolen over the last three decades, beginning with the graphical user interface and mouse and lately the entire notification system in iOS. Touch screens were not Apple's invention either, and neither were tablet computers. The guys at Apple make great products and they make a lot of scattered ideas work for the masses, but they are not the only people with ideas on that planet and not everything that you folks BELIEVE comes from them actually came from them. Most of the time, they just improved concepts that others conceived long before them and make it work. That in itself already is a great achievement and deserves respect. But it won't hurt to look behind their marketing schemes and call BS when they brag about the many "innovations" that basically are just re-implementations of the products of other developers. Apple certainly has no issues with ripping off the ideas of the "Apple design award" winners or copying little Shareware and Freeware products and selling them as their own innovations. Heck, Apple even uses other companies' product names: iOS, iPhone, Mighty Mouse...

"Good artists copy, great artists steal." -- Picasso

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
124 months ago

Apple OBVIOUSLY feels they have a strong case. Are they doing this because Samsung is gaining ground with these new products? Yes.

There's no doubt that Apple feels threatened in the long term, athough I would submit that their plan of forcing others to improve their systems in new and clever ways differently from iOS, is probably not the best strategy to take :)

But they also feel that Samsung products are gaining ground because of the IP they stole from Apple, not something Samsung created on their own.

We have to differentiate between the types of IP we're talking about.

On the one hand, it could be quite valid to try to claim that someone is using your exact look and feel, and other visual innovations (e.g. bounceback at edges).

On the other, we should not use phrases like "stole" too easily in reference to most of the non-visual patent claims. It's extremely unlikely that anyone actually looked at Apple's patents and decided to implement them. On the contrary, many of the disputed patents are over fairly old internal code ideas that were independently created. In fact, some of these patents could be struck down.

For its part, Google has no interest in making the best mobile operating system. They just want a place to show their ads.

Not only does that not make sense, it doesn't reflect reality.

Of course Google wants to make a good OS, so people will use it.

As for ads, I'm not sure what/where you mean. The only place people see ads are in apps, and personally, I see more in iOS apps than Android apps. Both Google and Apple love to sell ads in apps.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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