ITC finds Apple guilty of infringing Samsung patent, bans certain devices

By , Jun 4, 2013

courtroom gavel

This is huge. The United States International Trade Commission just ordered a US import ban against older iPhones and iPads, after finding Apple guilty of infringing on a cellular standard-esential patent asserted by Samsung.

The ban, which encompasses a number of various iOS device models including the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS and 3G iPads, will go into effect within 60 days unless vetoed by the White House during a Presidential Review period…

From the ITC ruling:

“Under the modified constructions, the Commission has determined that Samsung has proven that the accused iPhone 4 (AT&T models); iPhone 3GS (AT&T models); iPhone 3 (AT&T models); iPad 3G (AT&T models); and iPad 2 3G (AT&T models) infringe the asserted claims of the ’348 patent. The Commission has further determined that the properly construed claims have not been proven by Apple to be invalid and that Samsung has proven that a domestic industry exists in the United States with respect to the ‘348 patent. The Commission has determined that Apple failed to prove an affirmative defense based on Samsung’s FRAND declarations.”

Samsung filed the ITC complaint, which originally included 5 patents, back in June of 2011. And Apple was able to get 4 of the 5 thrown out with its FRAND defense (basically saying the patents are essential enough to license them out).

But obviously, the Commission wasn’t buying it on the fifth one, as they just handed Samsung one of the largest (for them) and most surprising patent victories in recent memory. Here’s patent expert Florian Mueller’s take on the ruling:

“This decision is a major surprise. The ITC has completely thrown out Apple’s FRAND defense, taking a position that is fundamentally inconsistent not only with how U.S. federal courts have recently adjudged SEP-based injunction requests but also with opinions expressed by antitrust regulators and, especially, U.S. lawmakers. “

Unfortunately, Apple will have a hard time appealing the decision. Exclusion orders will be sent to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to review and veto them based on “public policy.” If he chooses not to veto, the ban will go into effect.

Update: Apple has released a statement saying that it is “disappointed” with the ITC’s ruling and that it does plan to appeal. It also promises that the decision will not impact the availability of Apple products in the United States.

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  • Gorgonphone

    lol the politicians are trying o get more of apples money.lol

  • Ashton wilson

    So? Its only the old iphones that not that many people buy anymore…and an ipad? Big Whoop!

  • Kaptivator

    Wow..The 3gs, and the 4. I guess they really trying to put a dent in Apple’s pocket.

    • Pitchy

      If you read the whole article, you would see that this was filed in 2011.

      “Samsung filed the ITC complaint, which originally included 5 patents, back in June of 2011.”

      • Kaptivator

        Whole article was read, so don’t ASSume. Maybe I should have typed “sarcasm” behind my post? The 3gs and the 4 are pretty much irrelevant being that the 4s is currently the discounted phone as is the ruling almost 2 1/2 years down the line from the filing. At times, these lawsuits become outdated when its time to get into the court room.

        Simply put…With the 5s on the horizon the 4 will become a mere memory, as the 3gs is now.

        Honestly…Who actually is still buying the 3gs (discontinued) and the 4 (soon to be discontinued and is no longer a major player in iPhone game once the 5 was released)?

      • Roshan

        It simply means that if Samsung wants they can ask for damages.

        Nobody cares about old products.

      • Pitchy

        Point taken and now that I know it was sarcasm, I agree with both of your posts.

        They could take all of the old 3GS and 4 phones and repurpose them for 3rd world markets. Just because they are old and irrelevant to us, doesn’t mean they would be to people in India or elsewhere.

      • Kaptivator

        True…However, wouldn’t it be considered outdated technology? How would it benefit the consumer with getting outdated devices? I know (or shall I say remember reading) that they (apple) has different phones for India and China…However, Im not sure of the specks. But i get where you are coming from.

      • Pitchy

        It really is no different than in some of the Apple bans against Samsung, they were for outdated models, but at the time of the process, they were current models. It’s amazing that it takes two or three years to review evidence and make a decision.

      • Kaptivator

        Thats the key, the review process or maybe the system in which it brings claims to trial. By the time its ruled upon, its pretty much too late. Not just with Apple, but with anyone who infringes on a patent. In short, the damage is done by the time it gets a ruling.

  • iBanks

    Obama will Veto… He’s all about Apple.

  • imot65

    I suggest a nation wide boycott against kimchi if samDUNG get away with this.

    • Pitchy

      How is this any different than Apple trying to ban Samsung phones all around the globe? Both companies are acting like big ass babies. Apparently it’s only OK when Apple does this… but not other companies.

      • Mcsquared

        samsung phones become irrelevant every 6 months to the newer version due to crappy hardware.

        iPhone 4 is still relevant and nice, idk about the 3Gs tho

      • mehrab

        iphone 4 is still a great phone

      • Pitchy

        I would imagine Apple doesn’t consider the Galaxy S3 or S4 to be irrelevant. If anything, they are watching those and the HTC One really closely to see what both Samsung and HTC are doing right. Consumers seem to be buying them up left and right. I am fairly certain it was closer to around 11 months between the S3 and the S4 being released… not 6 months.

      • Mcsquared

        it doesn’t matter if it was 6 months or 12 months lol.. The fact of the matter is that it wasn’t 2-3 years ago which is how old the iPhone 3GS is to still be somewhat relevant or even 2 years for the iPhone 4.

        Name a 2 year old samsung phone that you have ever seen someone use recently

      • Pitchy

        I know a few people still using a Galaxy S2. I see a lot of people who still use the Android phones with the slide out keyboard and when was the last time one of those was released?

        I love a lot of things about Apple. But I love a lot of things about Android. Windows Mobile looks pretty sweet as well.

        There’s a lot of people using Galaxy S2s and S3s. You are delusional if you think otherwise. There are a lot of Android users who update yearly, just like there are with Apple.

      • Mcsquared

        Nobody I see uses these phones.. Odd lol

    • @dongiuj

      How’s that going to affect samsung? Or are you just being a piss taking idiot?

      • imot65

        Hey imbecile… why don’t you take a chill pill and afterwards go suck on a chilli pepper?

      • @dongiuj

        I’ll tell you why I don’t do either of your suggestions.
        1. YOU seem to be the imbecile with the original comment you made.
        2. You’re an idiot.
        3. You’re a twat.
        I’ve hundreds of more reasons why but I don’t have the time because, unlike you, I’ve got a life to get on with.

      • $25306224

        Nope… YOU are the still the imbecile idiotic twatted @SSHOLE queen, arrogant bitch who post replies like you know better than anyone. Then again, we are not at fault of your miserable little life. Oh and I have a billion reasons why you do really need to suck on a chilly pepper. Did I mention that you are an @sshole?

    • Kurt

      These phones are banned in S.Korea. And in the same ruling, some older devices from Samsung were banned. They both lost their suits. The next day, in the US, Apple was found not guilty on all patent infringements and Samsung was found guilty of all. Pretty biased by us americans, huh.

  • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Lol I bet the 3GS and 4 would have been retired on Monday (WWDC) anyway. Apples product line will probably consist of the 4S, 5 and 5S/Whatever it will be called…

    • Brian Kieffer

      Except that chances are, the next iPhone isn’t going to be released during WWDC.

    • Gorgonphone

      those phones are old and slow but great for desperate folks who just want to be able to say they have an iphone..

  • G Mohal

    People who said Samsung a copycat before are hiding now with full of shame.

    • Ignacio Irigoyen

      One hand doesn’t wash the other. Samsung is still a copycat, this ruling does not change that fact. So…. why would we hide? let alone feel shame ?

      • iOops

        Both companies are out for blood and money as is the nature of competition. There are wins and loses by both sides, but the one thing it affects most, are the consumers.

        Both sides copy.. It’s the ones who get away with it that mark history with their success..

    • RarestName

      All companies are copycats :)

  • Jackson Grong

    Political revengeee!!! :D

  • Adam Bowman

    Am I missing something? This article is vague. What, exactly, did Apple do? How, exactly, do those devices infringe the patent? What, exactly, is the ‘348 patent?

    Details please.

    • Gorgonphone

      its to complicated and boring to explain.. bottom line is apple did not pay off the right folks to won the case..lol

  • Amad

    If apple loose money they might start making advanced upgrades to their phones. The ip5 is just a big 4s with a better CPU and GPU.

    • Gorgonphone

      the iPhone 5 is great supper fast and the most functional of all iPhones the main disappointment with is are that they refused to really make the screen bigger as everyone wanted… making it a half inch taller was pure bullllllshit… and it runs the same boring limited IOS those factors just prevented the hone from looking and feeling fresh compared to the 4S..

      the LTE and processing speed are the best features of the iphone 5..lol

    • RarestName

      I believe that there are more internal changes that average customers don’t really care about.

      I recently chanced upon two Cydia tweaks that have to do with audio. On both tweaks, only the iPhone 5 supports both the earpiece and speaker while the iPhone 4S supports the speaker. The developers of both tweaks are different. Apple definitely did something with the earpiece.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        That’s just software changes per device generation. The devs just coded their tweak to be best on the latest hardware…I presume one of the tweaks you’re referring to is AudioRecorder.

      • RarestName

        Yes, it is!

  • NEWYORKMINUTE10

    If it was Samsungd products banned everyone would say that’s the decision is right. When Apple products are banned its inaccurate?! I love Apple but still hate their patent shit

    • Kurt

      In Korea, they both lost their suits and both had their older devices banned.

  • critiq

    bwahahaha rejoice fantards :D it’s called karma.