The several concurrent Apple vs Samsung patent trials are like the gift that keeps on giving. After Apple won $1billion-plus in damages last year in August, Samsung got its own back by getting the penalty reduced earlier this year. But we knew we haven't heard the last of it, just yet. Apple's patent war with Samsung is still hurtling forward at breakneck speed and now the two companies have entered courtrooms in at least 10 countries.
The latest ruling comes from Apple's home land. An International Trade Commission judge has announced a preliminary decision that says Samsung infringed a key portion of an Apple patent by including a text-selection feature in its smartphones and tablets, Reuters reports.
And the battle continues…
Yes, we know it seems ridiculous that Apple has a patent on something as pedestrian as text selection, but such are the rules of the patent game. The Korean electronics giant and the world's leading smartphone maker was also accused on infringing portions of a second Apple patent that deals with a device detecting a microphone or other device when it is plugged in. Fortunately for Samsung, the judge ruled in favour of them for this particular patent.
The ITC judge's decision was issued on March 26, but only became non- confidential this past week to allow both companies to make amendments in their business information. The full commission's final decision will now decide if the preliminary decision will be upheld or overturned. The final decision is expected in August this year.
If this decision is upheld, then the ITC can impose a ban from importation into the United States on any of the infringing devices. The Cupertino company has named the Samsung Galaxy series of phones, the Sprint-specific Samsung Transform smartphone and the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, among several other devices as those made with the infringing technology. However, many of the devices in question are no longer popular as newer smartphones have cropped up, considering Apple filed the complaint in mid-2011.
Last October, it was ITC Judge Thomas Pender who had ruled in a preliminary decision that the Korean chaebol had infringed four of Apple patents but cleared Samsung in two others contentious patents listed in the complaint. One other patent was dropped from the lawsuit during litigation, culling the total to six. After that preliminary decision, the commission ruled it is necessary to take a second look at portions of two patents which Samsung were found to have infringed. Of the two, one has now been dropped, with one up for review.
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