They’re back at it again. Apple has requested the United States International Trade Commission to broaden the import ban on Samsung. If successful, it would include a larger amount of Samsung handsets banned. Currently, Samsung is able to workaround bans in order to sell certain phones in the U.S.; however, Apple wants the ITC to investigate three more patents after they found that Samsung was previously infringing upon two patents.
With the government just being brought back from the shutdown, Samsung is expected to file an appeal to Apple’s claim.
Source: ITC Notice of Appeal
Stung by a recent ruling by the Obama administration that struck down a potential sales ban of some Apple devices in the U.S., Samsung is smarting even more after the Obama administration declined to strike down a sales ban of some Samsung devices as ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC previously ruled that Samsung had infringed on Apple patents related to detection of headphone jacks and on a multitouch feature. If there is any silver lining, it is the limited number of devices that will be impacted as newer Samsung devices incorporate different designs that get around the Apple patents. Read more
According to an International Trade Commission judge, HTC infringed on two Nokia patents involving the enhancement of transmission and reception of phone calls. Since this is a preliminary ruling, HTC has a little time to rectify the situation before the final ruling takes place in January.
The chip involved in the patents is made by Qualcomm and could result in a U.S. import ban on the HTC One and other newer phones. According to the Wall Street Journal, HTC is working with Qualcomm to come up with an alternative before the final ruling. HTC could also opt for a licensing deal with Nokia if something can’t be worked out with Qualcomm.
HTC is just one of those companies that can’t do anything right lately. They do offer some of the best phones, but they continually fail to market them. With losses starting to pile on, and continued problems like this, one has to wonder if HTC is going to be able to survive much longer.
As if supply chain troubles are not enough of a challenge for HTC, on Monday a judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission determined HTC has infringed on two Nokia patents. In the preliminary ruling, the judge ruled HTC violated two patents owned by Nokia that relate to signals sent and received by mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The next step in the process is for the full ITC panel to take up the judge’s preliminary ruling and make a final decision sometime in January 2014.
Mark Durrant with Nokia indicated the company “is pleased that the initial determination of the ITC confirmed that HTC has infringed two of our patents.” The products involved in the case, filed in 2012, include the HTC Amaze 4G, the Inspire 4G, Flyer, Jetstream, Radar 4G, Rezound, and the Sensation 4G. Nokia’s complaint asks the ITC to ban the products from the U.S. market.
In a move that would certainly boost competition, consumer choice, and overall happiness in the mobile device community, the Obama administration is pushing the FCC to mandate that US carriers must unlock some of their future devices. According to the Washington Post, activists devised a petition to garner support, and they were able to collect 114,000 signatures.
Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of the NTIA made a comment regarding the petition:
“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle.”
However, the move would likely only affect GSM devices, leaving CDMA phones alone in the dark. However, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Source: Washington Post
In last year’s epic courtroom clash between Samsung and Apple, one of the patents in dispute was the ‘318 patent, commonly referred to as the “bounce-back” patent. Since winning in the initial trial, Apple has suffered several setbacks in their effort to collect over $1 Billion in damages. One might think the USPTO ruling the bounce-back patent as invalid might be one of those setbacks, especially since Apple was awarded damages for 18 Samsung devices that allegedly infringed on the patent. Judge Lucy Koh seems to think otherwise and has issued a ruling denying a Samsung motion for a new trial regarding the bounce-back patent.
The ruling came as part of a whole batch of orders issued by Judge Koh regarding a schedule and rules for an upcoming retrial on the amount of damages to be levied against Samsung. We will have to keep an eye on the proceedings themselves to see whether Samsung is allowed to argue the value of any damages must be zero since the patent was not valid.
Neither Samsung nor Apple have issued comments or a response to this latest ruling.
The International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Apple yesterday in regards to Samsung infringing on Apple patents. With this ruling, a ban on importing some older Samsung devices will go into effect. Of course there is a 60 day time frame where President Obama has the chance to veto such a decision. Some of the devices in question include:
- The Galaxy S 4G
- Galaxy Tab
- Galaxy Tab 10.1
Other devices released in 2010 and 2011 fall into this category as well. Each device is said to violate scrolling behaviors and another patent involving the headphone jack. While Samsung’s import ban request on Apple was vetoed by the President it’s highly unlikely that he will do the same with this case. The reason for this is that these patents are considering non-essential. Both companies released a response to this decision:
Apple continued to see erosion of its previously successful claims of patent infringement against Samsung after the US Patent Office rejected Apple patent claims included in the “pinch to zoom” patent. U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915 (the 915 patent) was one of the patents included in Apple’s big lawsuit against Samsung last year in which Apple was initially awarded $1.05 Billion in damages. The 915 patent included 21 claims, all of which were rejected by the USPTO which determined the claims were anticipated by previous patents or unpatentable. Read more
Throughout all of the intense court battles that Samsung has had (are still having, and will continue to have) with Apple, it looks like Samsung’s learned a thing or two from their competitor.
In what might be the most ridiculous “patent” battle of any mobile phone manufacturer, Samsung has recently filed an objection with the Intellectual Property Office against LG to prevent them from using the phrase “Unpack event” in their marketing materials.
Apparently Samsung thinks they were the first company to ever use the word “unpack,” and they deservedly so should be the only company to use it. The Intellectual Property Office has since ruled that “unpack” is a common verb and can’t be registered as a trademark, something a fifth grader probably could have told Samsung.
In response, LG explained that they weren’t even planning on using the term in their actual media event, only in the invitations.
The two companies have clashed many times in the past, but the fact that they are clashing over something so trivial goes to show just how serious competition is in the mobile industry these days.
Apple and Samsung’s legal warzone has quieted down in the past few months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few battles going on in courts across the globe. The latest ruling comes from a court in Tokyo that has ruled Samsung infringed on Apple’s bounce-back patent. You know, that elastic effect that would happen whenever you scroll past a group of items. Apparently Apple still thinks tons of consumers bought Samsung devices strictly because of that, and the court in Tokyo agrees with them.
Samsung has generally removed the bounce-back effect in most of their newer devices, so this ruling is only going to affect a handful of older models. The court is set to release more information on the ruling later today.