Sunday, July 31, 2011

ITC to Hear Samsung's Case Against Apple

On Wednesday, July 27 the International Trade Commission decided that they would hear out Samsung’s patent case against Apple.

The commission "has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic devices, including wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers," the ITC said in a statement. What Samsung wants is for the commission to block all U.S. imports of iPhone, iPods and iPads.

At the end of June, Samsung filed a complaint against Apple just two months after Apple sued Samsung. Apple claimed that Samsung had copied the look and feel of the iPhone and the iPad with its Galaxy S smartphones and tablets. That’s when Samsung turned right around with a countersuit that claimed that Apple was infringing on five different patents that were related to some of Samsung’s wireless network technology.

Apple then came back with some more complaints at the beginning of July. They attempted to block the import of Samsung Galaxy S phones as well as the Galaxy Tab tablets.

Apple recently was informed by the ITC that its Mac OS X operating system is in violation of patents from S3 Graphics related to graphics chips; however, its iOS is fine. Bloomberg said that the ruling on the case could possibly lead to a U.S. ban on the imports of certain Macs.

FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller mentioned the fact that S3 is in the middle of being bought out by HTC, another company that is dealing with patent issues involving Apple. He did say, however, that he did not think that the S3 ruling would help HTC out at all.

"It looks like HTC is going to have to use patents other than the four at issue in that proceeding in order to put Apple under serious pressure," Mueller wrote.

"Right now it seems that the validity of those four S3 patents is uncertain, and even the worst-case scenario for Apple may just come down to a need to equip its Macintosh computers with Nvidia chips."

"The iPhone, iPad and iPod product lines aren't even affected at all. Against that background, Apple can apparently keep pursuing its multiple lawsuits against HTC," he said.

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