The Washington Post

Samsung infringed four Apple patents, ITC rules

The International Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung has infringed on four Apple patents dealing with multitouch, audio and display technologies.

If administrative law judge Thomas Pender’s Wednesday ruling is upheld, the U.S. may ban those products from import. The judge’s decision is subject to review by the full ITC commission.

A customer holds up an Apple iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4s (R) during an exclusive sale by Belgian operator Mobistar in Brussels September 28, 2012. (YVES HERMAN/REUTERS)

The ruling is another major point in Apple’s favor as the company battles its top smartphone rival in courts around the world. Apple won more than $1 billion in damages in August after a jury in California found Samsung had infringed on the patents applied to the iPhone. The company has, however, also lost patent cases in courts outside the United States.

In fact, a judge in Amsterdam ruled Wednesday that Samsung had not infringed upon Apple’s multi-touch navigation technology, Bloomberg reported. Apple also recently lost its appeal of a British ruling to apologize publicly for insinuating Samsung had infringed its intellectual property.

The patents at issue in the ITC case, Ars Technica reported, deal with multi-touch screen navigation, the way images are blended when at least two applications are running on a phone, and the way an audio jack distinguishes whether an accessory plugged into a device contains a microphone or not. Also at issue was a design patent showing the exterior of the iPhone. Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs is listed on the design patent and the navigation patent, the site reported.

The Korea Times reported Thursday that Samsung plans to appeal the preliminary ITC ruling.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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