Apple wins U.S. ban on older Samsung devices in mixed ruling

The U.S. International Trade Commission says Samsung infringes on a pair of Apple patents with some of its older phones.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has sided with Apple in a decision to ban some of Samsung's phones in the U.S.

In a mixed ruling Friday, the ITC said some of Samsung's older devices infringe on two of Apple's patents, while finding no violations in four other patents.

The ruling is final, and comes more than nine months after the group's initial determination, which said Samsung infringed on four of Apple's patents across a handful of its mobile devices . Friday's ruling found Samsung guilty of infringing on two patents: one that covers touch-screen technology, as well as a patent dealing with headphone jacks.

"With today's decision, the ITC has joined courts around the world in Japan, Korea, Germany, Netherlands, and California by standing up for innovation and rejecting Samsung's blatant copying of Apple's products," Apple said in a statement. "Protecting real innovation is what the patent system should be about."

Samsung spokesman Adam Yates issued the following statement over the decision:

We are disappointed that the ITC has issued an exclusion order based on two of Apple's patents. However, 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. Samsung will continue to launch many innovative products, and we have already taken measures to ensure that all of our products will continue to be available in the United States.

As for which Samsung devices are affected, Friday's ruling does not go into too much detail short of noting that Samsung's Continuum SCH-1400 and Transform SPH-M920 both infringe on some or all parts of the headset patent. Devices like the Galaxy Tab 7.0 and Galaxy S2 smartphone, however, are in the clear for that particular patent. In a separate, but related, hearing in the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit earlier on Friday, Samsung noted that 23 of the 26 devices that were originally a part of that suit -- and closely tied to this one -- were no longer for sale. The ITC case was considerably smaller, at six smartphones and two tablets.

The ruling comes amid increased scrutiny of the U.S. patent system as well as the ITC, a quasi-judicial group which has the power to place an embargo on products coming into the U.S. Its June ruling on a complaint filed by Samsung threatened to ban the import and sale of some older iPhones and iPads in the U.S., and was vetoed by the Obama administration last week -- the first such veto in 26 years.

This ITC case is part of a much wider spat between Apple and Samsung, which are involved in legal confrontations around the globe. Perhaps the largest has been the U.S. trial between the two in a San Jose, Calif., federal court, which wrapped up last August and favored Apple , but has yet to be entirely laid to rest. The district court judge overseeing that case cut Apple's $1.05 billion judgment by more than $450 million , and has ordered a new trial for early November.

You can read the whole ruling below.

(via Foss Patents)


ITC final determination in Apple vs. Samsung

Updated at 2:53 p.m. with comment from both companies, as well as additional background.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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