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U.S. International Trade Commission to Review Apple v Samsung Conflict

The U.S. International Trade Commission has announced that it would be reviewing the preliminary ruling in September made by an administrative law judge that held Apple did not violate any of Samsung’s patents. The USITC had the choice to uphold the judgment, but for reasons not disclosed, the body has decided to review the matter and provide its final decision in January.

If the USITC finds that Apple has infringed the patents of Samsung, then Apple can face a possible ban on the sale of its related products in the US. However, such a scenario is unthinkable, given that of late, a section of antitrust enforcers have been arguing that in case of infringing standards essential patents, a ban is uncalled for.

The USITC has also announced that it would be seeking briefings on the appropriate manner to consider the infringement of standard essential patents that are expected to be licensed on fair, reasonable, and no-discriminatory terms. Ensuring standards compliance allows companies to create devices that are interoperable.

Two standard essential patents at issue in the instant case include patents that relate to the format of data packets used in high-speed transmissions, and to 3G wireless technology. Samsung filed the case in 2011, but ITC Judge James Gildea ruled in favor of Apple.

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On the other hand, Apple has also filed a complaint against Samsung accusing the Korean company of blatantly copying the designs if iPhones and iPads. An ITC judge has already found Samsung guilty of violating Apple’s patents. However, the final decision in the matter is expected in February.

Apple has been on the warpath since 2010 to stop the spread of Google’s Android system, which is currently the most-used smartphone operating system on the planet. In its bid to ensure its dominance in the smartphone market, Apple has been suing companies like HTC and Samsung that use the Android software to create and market smartphones.

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