ITC bans some Samsung devices for infringing Apple patents [Updated]


The U.S. International Trade Commission has ordered the ban of some Samsung devices after it found that the company infringed on Apple patents.

ITC found Samsung to have infringed on the touchscreen technology related patent titled “Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”, which has Steve Jobs listed as one of its inventors, and a patent titled “Audio I/O headset plug and play detection circuitry” that detects when headset is plugged into the device.

Samsung devices will only get banned after the 60-day Presidential review period, during which time the Obama administration can overturn ITC’s decision.

The ITC had earlier issued an order banning the sales of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPad 2, which was overturned by the Obama administration. However, experts don’t expect the ban on Samsung devices to be overturned as the patent infringed by Samsung do not include standard-essential patents.

AllThingsD reports Apple has not surprisingly praised ITC’s decision to ban Samsung products:

“With today’s decision, the ITC has joined courts around the world in Japan, Korea, Germany, Netherlands and California by standing up for innovation and rejecting Samsung’s blatant copying of Apple’s products,” Apple said. “Protecting real innovation is what the patent system should be about.” 

Update 1:

Samsung has issued a statement to Korea Times:

“We are disappointed that the USITC has issued an exclusion order based on two of Apple’s patents. However, Apple has been stopped from trying to use its overbroad design patents to achieve a monopoly on rectangles and rounded corners.”

Update 2:

Strangely, the ruling doesn’t mention, which products could be banned. According to Korea Times the following products could be banned:

Samsung’s products known to violate Apple’s patents include the Galaxy S 4G, the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as well as a handful of other smartphones and tablets released in 2010 and 2011.

Do you think it is fair to ban Samsung products for these patents? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credit: Scales of Justice by mikecogh from Flickr.

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