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The decision will be reviewed by the full commission, and if the commission agrees, imports of Samsung's products could be halted at the border

Samsung hasn't had a whole lot of luck in the U.S. when it comes to its patent disputes with Apple, and a recent ITC case proves that it's luck isn't getting any better.

U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Judge Thomas Pender found that Samsung has violated four Apple patents, including the flat front face with wider borders at the top and bottom, the lozenge-shaped speaker about the display screen; the translucent images for applications displayed on the screen, and the device's ability to detect when a headset is plugged in.

Apple also tried to say that Samsung infringed on other patents, such as the shape of the phone, but the ITC judge found that those were not violations.

The decision will be reviewed by the full commission. If the commission agrees with Pender, imports of Samsung's products could be halted at the border, and this would then be reviewed by the U.S. president. An appeals court would review the entire case.

"If left to stand, this initial determination could lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices for the American consumer," said Adam Yates, Samsung spokesman. "We remain confident that the full commission will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position that patent law must not be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies."

Samsung is currently working on new designs of its devices and sending them to Pender in order to address the patent infringement claims.

The Apple-Samsung patent war began in April 2011 when Apple claimed Samsung was an "iPhone, iPad copycat." More specifically, Apple said Samsung's Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G and Nexus smartphones infringed on Apple's patents. 
Apple worked pretty hard to ban Samsung's smartphones and tablets around the world, and successfully accomplished this in countries like Germany and Australia. Samsung launched a few lawsuits of its own regarding 3G patents, and was also able to lift the ban on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in December 2011. However, Samsung wasn't so lucky in Germany, where the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still banned.

Back in August, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reached an unfavorable verdict for Samsung, saying that the South Korean electronics maker was guilty of violating technology patents. In other words, most of Samsung's smartphones and tablets in question were found guilt of copying Apple's iPhone and iPad designs. It was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages to Apple.

Earlier this week, Samsung Display decided to cut ties with Apple, saying it will no longer ship LCDs to Apple next year. Its LCD shipments to Apple have been cut more and more over time due to Apple wanting huge discounts, but the recent patent infringement drama couldn't have helped either.

Source: Bloomberg

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I can't hear you
By qwerty1 on 10/26/2012 3:47:32 AM , Rating: 4
...and the device's ability to detect when a headset is plugged in.

How is this not obvious? If I plug the headset in I would expect the device to detect and use the sound path! USPTO ftl...

RE: I can't hear you
By StevoLincolnite on 10/26/2012 3:57:48 AM , Rating: 5
I'm pretty sure the PC has had this for god-knows-how-many-flipping-years, easily pre-dating the iProducts at any rate.

This just shows how broken the US patent and law system really is, as the Judge should have thrown the case out the window, and it should never have been patented in the first place.

RE: I can't hear you
By othercents on 10/26/2012 9:21:37 AM , Rating: 3
Stereo receivers have been doing this for a while. I would have to say anything with a headphone jack has been able to detect when headphones are plugged in.

Oh look... 1942 Military HF Receiver:

RE: I can't hear you
By Samus on 10/27/2012 1:26:17 AM , Rating: 1
the device's ability to detect when a headset is plugged in.

How the fuck did Apple get this patented when my Nintendo Gameboy did this in 1989.

RE: I can't hear you
By Fujikoma on 10/26/2012 7:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
My stereos from back in the 80's used to do this. When the headphone was plugged in, the main speakers were turned off, automatically, which meant some sort of detection switch. I don't see how adding a software layer into this makes it a patentable feature. The thicker top and bottom borders... my Nokia was like that and all my other phones had that type of border before the iThingy came out. If some of the borders aren't thicker, then they're the same size. That leaves TWO options for any manufacturer unless the courts decide to measure those borders. How is translucent patentable... maybe the code, but the actual affect? Why not just patent shadows in a game and sue all other game manufacturers that use it? Shape of the speaker? Again, you can patent a specific design, but not a similar shape. That's why Bose was able to sue for a specific port design being copied exactly like one of theirs, but they'd be unable to sue anyone that used a port (genericness and prior art).

RE: I can't hear you
By drycrust3 on 10/26/2012 3:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
When the headphone was plugged in, the main speakers were turned off, automatically, which meant some sort of detection switch.

In your stereo the headphone jack is after the preamp and before the main amp, and has a built in set of "break" contacts that ... break open when the plug is plugged into the jack, so when you plugged in the headphone contacts would cut out the main amplifier and send the audio signal to the headphones. When you unplug the headphones the break contacts make contact and the audio signal goes straight through to the main amp and the sound comes out of the speakers.

I found the patent involved:
According to the patent application it was filed in 2007 ... 5th January, 2007 to be exact.

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