U.S. ITC rules that Samsung infringed upon two Apple patents, orders import ban on some devices

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| August 9, 2013


Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Apple iPhone 5


Less than a week after the Obama administration vetoed an import ban that Samsung had won against several Apple products, it looks like the Cupertino firm has scored another win against its longtime legal opponent. Today the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Samsung is guilty of infringing upon two Apple-held patents and, as a result, has ordered an import ban that will go into effect after a 60-day Presidential review period.

The two patents that Samsung were found to violate relate to touchscreen technology (U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949) and headphone jack circuitry (U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501). An ITC judge previously ruled that Samsung had actually infringed upon four Apple patents, but after a review, the ITC decided that only two patents had been violated. Some of the devices that are affected by the ITC's import ban include the Galaxy S 4G, Captivate and Galaxy Tab 10.1

Unsurprisingly, Apple is pretty pleased with the ITC's decision, telling The Verge that the commission has joined other courts from around the globe "by standing up for innovation and rejecting Samsung's blatant copying of Apple's products." Samsung said that while it was "disappointed" by the import ban, today's ruling does stop Apple "from trying to use its overbroad design patents to achieve a monopoly on rectangles and rounded corners." The South Korean company went on to say that it's already taking steps to ensure that its products will remain available in the U.S.
Overall it seems like today's decision is a bit of a mixed bag for both companies. While Apple did win an import ban on some Samsung products, today's decision only included two of the four patents that an ITC judge had previously said that Samsung infringed. Meanwhile, Samsung is facing a ban on some of its older hardware, but the company seems pleased that Apple's design patent wasn't included in today's decision. 
Apple and Samsung have been trading legal blows and duking it out in courtrooms around the globe for over two years now. A recent rumor claimed that the two companies have been meeting for settlement talks recently, though right now there's no evidence to show that they're actually close to reaching an agreement. A new trial regarding some of the damages awarded to Apple in a previous ruling is scheduled to take place in November.