ITC Judge Says Samsung Infringes Four Apple Patents

Published on October 24, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Apple has struck another blow against Samsung in the pair’s sprawling patent battle.

A U.S. International Trade Commission judge on Wednesday ruled that Samsung infringed four of the six patents Apple asserted against it before the ITC. In his initial determination, ITC Judge Thomas Pender found that Samsung’s products violate Apple’s ‘949, ‘922, ‘678, and ‘501 patents. The first refers to touchscreen heuristics and lists Steve Jobs as an inventor; the second describes a “method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display”; the third, elements of the iPhone’s design; and the last, “audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry.”

This is an initial determination, so Pender’s findings still need to be approved by the ITC’s full six-member commission. And he did find in Samsung’s favor on two other patents.

But, make no mistake, this is bad news for the company. The ITC has the power to stop the importation into the U.S. of infringing products and Apple will almost certainly push for that if Pender’s decision is upheld in February.

Today’s ruling follows an earlier ITC initial determination that found Apple’s iOS devices did not violate four patents that Samsung asserted against it, and the $1 billion jury verdict Apple won against the Korean company in August.

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