US ITC probing issues relating to standards patents in Apple-Samsung dispute

The federal trade agency has decided to review an earlier decision that Apple did not infringe Samsung's patents

The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to review an earlier decision that Apple did not infringe four patents of Samsung Electronics in its mobile devices including the iPhone and iPad.

The ITC plans to discuss in the review issues relating to standards-essential patents, including whether an undertaking to license a patent on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) precludes a ban on a product if it infringes the patent.

Standards-essential patents have been invoked in a number of infringement disputes in the U.S., Europe and other countries.

ITC said in a statement on Monday that it would like to be briefed by the parties to the investigation, interested government agencies, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations, and any other interested parties on a variety of questions relating to standards-essential patents in the investigation.

The trade agency has, for example, asked what framework should be used for determining whether an offer by a patent owner to license a patent to an accused infringer complies with a FRAND undertaking. It also wants to know whether there will be substantial cost or delay to design around the technology covered by the '348 and '644 patents asserted by Samsung in the investigation, and whether such a design-around would still comply with the relevant standard of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

The patents asserted in the dispute are U.S. Patent Nos.7,706,348 ("the '348 patent"), 7,486,644 ("the '644 patent"), 7,450,114 ("the '114 patent"), and 6,771,980 ("the '980 patent").

The presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) in a final initial determination in September ruled that the '348, '644, and '980 patents are valid but not infringed and that the '114 patent is both invalid and not infringed. The commission has now decided to review the ALJ's determination of no violation "in its entirety."

In a statement in June in the public interest before the ITC, the Federal Trade Commission said that ITC's issuance of an exclusion or cease and desist order in matters involving implementation of standards-essential patents, that were committed to be licensed on FRAND terms, has the potential to cause substantial harm to U.S. competition, consumers and innovation.

FTC was commenting on ITC investigations into complaints by Motorola Mobility, an unit of Google, against Microsoft and Apple. It said it was concerned that a patent owner can make a FRAND commitment, and then seek an exclusion order for infringement of the standards-essential patent as a way of securing royalties that may be inconsistent with the FRAND commitment.

Written submissions and proposed remedial orders in response to the Monday notice have to reach the ITC by Dec. 3.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Applelegalintellectual propertypatentSamsung Electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?