Ina Fried

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International Trade Commission Bans Certain Samsung Products, Saying Some Apple Patents Were Violated

The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Friday that certain Samsung products do infringe on two Apple patents and should be barred from being sold here.

Apple v Samsung collage

However, the trade court also ruled in Samsung’s favor with regard to four other patents at issue and said that no violations occurred.

“The Commission has determined that the appropriate remedy is a limited exclusion order prohibiting Samsung from importing certain electronic digital media devices that infringe one or more of claims 1, 4-6, 10, and 17-20 of the ’949 patent and claims 1-4 and 8 of the ’501 patent,” the commission said.

The order doesn’t list all the products involved, but it appears to include a wide range of Samsung phones and tablets.

Even the media players and phones that were barred can continue to be sold during a Presidential Review period. The White House rarely intervenes in such actions, but did so just days ago, vetoing a ban that Samsung had won that would have prevented Apple from importing certain older iPhones and iPads.

Apple praised the ruling.

“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. “Protecting real innovation is what the patent system should be about.”

Samsung, meanwhile, said it was disappointed that the ITC issued the exclusion order, but spokesman Adam Yates said Samsung was pleased that “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,” Yates said.

It also suggested that it may have already made the design tweaks necessary to keep selling all its products despite the ruling.

“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,” Yates said.

It was a busy day for Apple and Samsung on the legal front. The two parties were in federal court earlier in the day arguing before a panel of appellate judges whether an injunction should be given against a different set of Samsung products following a San Jose, Calif., jury verdict last year.

Here’s the text of the ruling (although it is admittedly short on details and long on legal jargon.)

ITC ruling in Apple Samsung


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald