Print 23 comment(s) - last by zlyles.. on Oct 29 at 9:52 AM

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.

Tony double pwned by Cook and Ballmer
By Pirks on 10/26/2012 1:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
Cook is carving out the wide open road for Ballmer's WP8, what an irony! I can hardly believe my eyes when I read this. Tony must be very, very mad by now.

RE: Tony double pwned by Cook and Ballmer
By Tony Swash on 10/26/2012 6:34:58 AM , Rating: 1
Cook is carving out the wide open road for Ballmer's WP8, what an irony! I can hardly believe my eyes when I read this. Tony must be very, very mad by now.

Sorry - I genuinely don't understand your comment :(

Care to elucidate?

RE: Tony double pwned by Cook and Ballmer
By cditty on 10/26/2012 9:08:09 AM , Rating: 2
I believe he is alluding that it might be more profitable for Samsung to turn to it's other partner (Microsoft) and build a broader line of Windows 8 Phones as opposed to the great (in my opinion) Android devices they are turning out now.

By Tony Swash on 10/26/2012 12:46:40 PM , Rating: 1
That's quite possible as Samsung is the only company making any real profits out of the Android ecosystem and now they are by far the largest Android OEM so it's they who can wag the Google tail. Samsung have clout.

How Samsung plays that position of strength in relation to squeezing Google is going to be fascinating to watch. I always thought it was a very real possibility that they might do an Amazon and just fork Android and say fuck off to Google. Maybe they could make a Microsoft play as well. At the moment Microsoft pays Nokia about $87 per handset shipped, and yet the Nokia road has not managed to end the marginalisation of Windows Phone so I am sure they are looking for alternatives.

Just more disappoint ment from "US Legal system"...
By GotThumbs on 10/26/2012 10:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
This just saddens/disgusts me more and more each day how pathetic the US has become.

With Apple's recent announcement of 8.2 Billion NET's obvious these "features" being available on Samsung's devices is NOT HURTING APPLE ONE BIT.

I can see this country is heading towards a major crisis in the coming years. Apple's hold on government, education and public opinion are strong. Apple is not the underdog it once was compared to Microsoft. Microsoft NEVER prevented its users from loading other browsers...and yet they get fined fro million and millions. Apple has THE most controlled ecosystem that is all encompassing. Apple controls all hardware, software and content areas. You can't do anything with an IProduct without going through Apples controls. Yet the millions of cult like followers willingly continue to give up any and all freedoms blindly. I'm certain 99% of Apple's followers are clueless to the reality of what is truly occurring. Fools....and these Judges are part of the problem. Common sense is not longer considered in todays society. Just blind fools and it's only a matter of time before the s_it hits the fan and most of the 99% are s_it out of luck.

Amazon and Microsoft have seen Apple success in using such controls and figure if you can't beat them....join them. The public is losing/giving up freedom of choice once it purchases (joins) one of the new tech/hardware cults.

I feel I'm watching an oncoming crash from the sidelines. The way the US is going....anyone with the money will be looking to exit this country which is heading for a downward spiral. Another revolution is in the making.

It sounds like crazy talk, but I guess we'll see how crazy it is in the next 5 or 10 years.

Best wishes,

By TheDoc9 on 10/26/2012 10:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think that's a bit extreme. Just cuts choices of a great product for consumers. It really is telling of how scared Apple is of Samsung. Just glad I picked up one of their newer phones recently before the coming ban. The phone is great btw, the os has come a long way since the early days of android.

By ritualm on 10/28/2012 6:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

That's not extreme, that's a step in the wrong direction. And there are too many such steps lately. Imagine a world where if you buy a competitor's product, Apple sends the local police to arrest you - and possibly sentence you to capital punishment - for not buying an iCrap.

That day is getting closer.

By momorere on 10/26/2012 10:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone see crApple's pathetic "apology" on their website ? If I were the judge that made the ruling, I would massively fine them for not following through and continue to find everyday until it was to my satisfaction.

RE: Pathetic
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/26/2012 11:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, that is pathetic. Not even an apology.

RE: Pathetic
By robinthakur on 10/29/2012 8:37:44 AM , Rating: 2
Lol! That is actually pretty funny, what Apple have done here. Having read that, the message I came away with is that:
-Apple devices are beautifully designed, cool and desirable in their minimalism
-Samsung Devices could be mistaken for the Apple product from the front, but are insubstantial and the back has lots of unnecessary detail (not as cool)
-Courts around the world have sided with Apple in the legal actions
-In the course of creating its Galaxy Tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad (The final words on the page)

I guess this has backfired spectacularly for Samsung. What a shame...

US vs The World ...everyone else loses...
By heerohawwah on 10/26/2012 2:48:04 PM , Rating: 3
The scariest thing I find about all the patent suits is that it easily combines with the domestic company favoritism the US has always defaulted to. Samsung will lose any lawsuit in America because it's a Korean company. Just like Toyota lost to gamma rays from outer space so that the US domestic car companies could have an upper hand. As a Canadian, just of the top of my head I can think of a dozen other NAFTA violations by the US, like lumber or beef.
When it comes to big business and big dollars, the USA has never played fair with other countries or international companies. Free trade or even fair trade doesn't actually exist when doing business with the USA.

By inperfectdarkness on 10/27/2012 9:16:46 AM , Rating: 2
and yet, the USA is a choirboy compared to china.

By masamasa on 10/26/2012 10:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
The only organizations finding Samsung guilty are US organizations. I find that rather interesting. Patents issued by the USPTO are a sham and only hold up in US courts.

RE: Suspicious
By zlyles on 10/29/2012 9:52:46 AM , Rating: 2
"Apple worked pretty hard to ban Samsung's smartphones and tablets around the world, and successfully accomplished this in countries like Germany and Australia."


By danjw1 on 10/26/2012 10:59:50 AM , Rating: 2
SCOTUS, has been clear that judges have been holding patents to too low of a standard for obviousness. They need to take these ITC Judges behind the woodshed for a good whipping. They are off the rails.

Oh No
By Reclaimer77 on 10/26/2012 12:06:58 AM , Rating: 1
Please don't ban like two year old Samsung phones that nobody buys anymore! Anything but that!

Contempt of Court?
By Any14Tee on 10/26/2012 8:47:32 AM , Rating: 1
It seems mischievous or even perilous to mock the judges ruling, not any apology at all. 'Not Cool' is an 'Obiter dictum' a statement "said in passing" by the Judge, had it been "Prima facie" i.e. self-evident from the facts then Apple can hold the judges word to account, hence why I think Apple has infringed on the intregrity of the judges ruling and therefore it should be 'Contempt of Court'.

Apple saw this as a market opportunity to promote their wares at the expense of Samsung, which is not in keeping with the spirit, it's contentious and disrespectful of UK judges decision.

UK judicial decision sets precident but it is not binding in the higher courts, nevertheless, what happens in Germany or elsewhere is of no consequence unless it is upheld by EU Law. Apple has clearly in my view overstep the boundaries. The court ought to hold the Apple directors accountable and send the blighters to prison as fines don't matter to Apple.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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