For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Will Samsung Sales Be Preserved By White House ITC Ban Veto?

The battle continues
After the US Trade Representative (USTR) vetoed an International Trade Commission (ITC) ban on certain Apple products that the ITC determined infringed upon Samsung patents (read more here), many Katfans sniffed a whiff of American protectionism. 

The saga continued on Friday, when the ITC similarly imposed a ban on Samsung products that infringe certain Apple patents, including a patent related to the finger-swipe motion. 

A spokesman for Apple expressed satisfaction with the ITC ruling against Samsung, telling the Wall Street Journal:
"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. Protecting real innovation is what the patent system should be about."
The USTR will now have sixty days to decide whether to veto the ITC ban or to let it stand.  There will surely be pressure on the USTR to ensure that there is no hint of unfairness leveled against a foreign company so soon after it acted to protect the sales of a domestic company.  On the other hand, the Apple patents at issue are not considered to be “standards-essential patents”, which the patent owner must offer under license to competitors on “terms that are fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (‘FRAND’)”.  If the USTR doesn't consider the Apple patents to be SEPs, it is likely to let the ITC ruling stand. 


Regardless of the outcome, Samsung doesn't seem too concerned, noting, "[w]e have already taken measures to ensure that all of our products will continue to be available in the United States".  Indeed, Samsung has altered the technology embedded into newer products so that they do not infringe Apple's patents.  The ITC ban would not affect the sale of the newer, non-infringing products.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Over-ruling the original (anti-Apple) ITC ruling does have consequences. At the moment US interests are best served by enforcing IP rights globally and by promoting the 'moral rightness' of that stance. Ignoring IP decisions of its own tribunals will undermine its general strategy at a time when other nations (India, China, Brazil) are asserting themselves more.

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