ITC imposes ban on some Samsung smartphones

On August 9, 2013, the International Trade Commission (ITC) found that Samsung infringed on parts of an Apple patent that covers elements of swiping a finger across the device’s display and parts of another patent “related to headphone jacks.” These are items Samsung claims have been designed around in newer phones.

The only way the ITC ban can be overturned is if the Obama administration vetoes it, and they have 60 days to decide. Samsung and its partners will argue the anti-competitive issues brought up by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman when the administration lifted the ban on Apple products just a week ago. Apple will argue the difference between standard-essential patents (those that Samsung sued over) and nonstandard-essential patents, (which Apple sued over).

Perhaps just as significant to Apple is what the ITC did not enforce; the ITC disallowed claims made by Apple that Samsung infringed on patents on the basic design of the iPhone. As previously reported in IP Value Wire, Apple’s emphasis has been design patents; they lag Samsung considerably in number of technology patents issued.