Oh boy. Time for another chapter in the ongoing and ever-growing legal battle between Apple and Samsung. In a statement issued today, the International Trade Commission said that it's agreed to investigate Apple's complaints that accuse Samsung of copying the design of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod with its Galaxy line of products. The ITC said that it voted on the matter and agreed to look into the matter and determine whether or not an injunction against Samsung and its products is necessary.
This whole legal tiff was started back in April when Apple sued Samsung for allegedly "[copying] Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style" with devices like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since then, the two tech giants have been going back and forth by filing ITC complaints and hitting one another with lawsuits in different corners of the globe. There's no mention of when we might hear more from the ITC concerning its investigation, but we can probably expect a response from Samsung to hit in 3...2...
UPDATE: The press release from the ITC concerning its decision is below.
USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN ELECTRONIC DIGITAL MEDIA DEVICES AND COMPONENTS THEREOF
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic digital media devices and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation include mobile phone handsets and tablet computers, in addition to components such as software, touchpads, and hardware interfaces.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, on July 5, 2011. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic digital media devices and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by Apple. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., of Korea;
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., of Ridgefield Park, NJ; and
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, of Richardson, TX.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-796), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's five administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.