US panel backs Samsung, bans older Apple devices



Rob Lever | AFP

Published — Wednesday 5 June 2013

Last update 5 June 2013 11:56 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

WASHINGTON: Samsung won a round in its long-running patent battle with Apple on Tuesday when a US trade panel banned the import and sale of some older models of the iPhone and iPad.
The quasi-judicial International Trade Commission said it issued a “limited exclusion order” for certain devices made by Apple, in a victory for the South Korean firm after a huge loss in a court fight with its US rival last year.
The loss dealt to Apple by the ITC could make the Cupertino, California-based company more amenable to negotiating settlements on some of the many legal fronts where it is waging patent war with Samsung.
“Up to now, Apple has been winning the big judgments, which means there was no reason to come to the table,” said independent Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle.
“It looked like Apple held all the cards,” he said. “But if this holds up and both companies have something to lose, you can get negotiation.”
Tuesday’s victory could be largely symbolic because the ban covers devices that are no longer actively sold in the US market — the AT&T iPhone 4 and iPhone 3 and 3GS, as well as the iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G, also sold by AT&T.
But it is likely that Samsung will explore the feasibility of launching similar legal attacks at newer products from the company, according to Enderle.
“Typically, once you win something like this you try to apply it to the new products,” the analyst said. “This may put enough risk on Apple to get them more open to talking with Samsung.”
The ITC ruling is a final order but may be appealed in the US Court of Appeals or reversed by presidential order.
“We believe the ITC’s final determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations,” a Samsung statement said.
“Our decades of research and development in mobile technologies will continue, and we will continue to offer innovative products to consumers in the United States.”
Apple did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.
The case was filed in August 2011 amid a flurry of litigation between the two rivals over patents in the hot market for tablets and smartphones.
In a separate patent fight in US federal court, Samsung was ordered last August to pay more than $1 billion for patent infringement, which also opens the door to a ban on some Samsung devices.
A judge later slashed the award to $598.9 million.
Apple has been seeking to ban some of the newer 4G phones from Samsung’s Galaxy line, as well as the Droid Charge sold through Verizon in that case, which is being appealed.
The news came on the same day the White House moved to crack down on abuses of the patent system, responding to mounting concern among technology companies over a flood of litigation that some say stifles innovation.
The White House said new action is needed in the face of a flood of recent patent litigation, particularly in the smartphone sector, and because “several major companies spend more on patent litigation and defensive acquisition than on research and development.”
The latest moves target so-called “patent trolls” which, according to the White House, “hijack” ideas and take other companies to court with an eye to collecting license or royalty fees.
Meanwhile, Apple has asked a federal judge in Silicon Valley to add Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy smartphone to the list of devices targeted in a patent lawsuit involving Siri personal assistant software.
The motion to amend the lawsuit to include the Galaxy S4 will be on the agenda of a June 25 hearing before US District Court Judge Paul Grewal in the California city of San Jose.
The trial is not expected to begin until early next year.
After years of following and refining the iPhone’s pioneering innovations — a strategy that resulted in bitter patent battles with Apple — Samsung has dethroned its rival to become the world’s top smartphone maker.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Three citizens, aged above 65, and a 32-year-old expatriate have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Riyadh raising the death toll to 471 in Saudi Arabia since June 2012, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.It also reported...
JEDDAH: Five hospitals and health centers across the Kingdom have been ranked among the 10 top hospitals in the Arab World, according to the Webometrics Ranking of World Hospitals 2015 conducted by Cybermetrics Lab. King Faisal Specialist Hospital an...
RIYADH: The children of the martyrs and wounded soldiers will be given preference for jobs in the organization, KACST President Prince Turki bin Saud Bin Mohammad Al-Saud said Riyadh on Tuesday.On an initiative from the Ministry of Education, a two-d...
JEDDAH: The laboratory of Al-Amal Complex for Mental Health was recently ranked fifth in the RIQAS program for biochemistry out of 120 laboratories. It also came in sixth in the same program for the department of hematology among the 60 participants,...
RIYADH: Anticipating high temperatures during the Haj season, the Ministry of Health has made arrangements to install more equipment to treat heatstroke patients among pilgrims, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Al-Mirghalani said following a meeting...
RIYADH: The National Water Company (NWC) has added a new feather to its cap by launching an e-branch (website www.nwc.com.sa) to serve the customers around the clock.The NWC, which aims to become the leading water utility in the Gulf that comes under...
DAMMAM: Traffic regulations in the Kingdom and many countries of the world dedicate the right lane of highways and roads to trucks as they are designed to carry heavy weights in contrast to the other lanes, which are allocated for lighter weight vehi...
RIYADH: The solar-power plant, “Layla,” in Aflaj province, will be opened shortly, Saleh Al-Awaji, chairman of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), has said.The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is one of the signatories, along with King Abdulaziz City for...
RIYADH: The expanded facility for machine readable passports (MRPs) at the Embassy of Pakistan will help the mission process over 1,200 applications on daily basis. The new setup was inaugurated on Tuesday.Saudi Arabia hosts the largest Pakistan comm...
RIYADH: The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) has directed manufacturers and their agents in the Kingdom to strictly follow the safety regulations for the new cars to be marketed to the Kingdom beginning 2017.In a statement r...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Social Affairs recently honored 20 academically gifted orphans whom it had earlier sent to Japan for ten days to visit attractions that include cultural and educational institutions. Ministry of Social Affairs Undersecretary D...
JEDDAH: Prince Bandar bin Abdullah, member of the board of trustees of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Foundation for Humanitarian Action, spoke at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the invi...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Health has issued a circular to all health sector employees to ensure they sterilize their hands prior to dealing with patients.The circular, issued by Deputy Minister for Public Health Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdullah bin Saeed, is in...
JEDDAH: The Indonesian Consulate and community have been conducting their 70th Independence Day celebrations for the past three months by having different cultural and social activities. On Tuesday, the consulate arranged a blood donation camp with t...
JEDDAH: The Specialized Penal Court in Jeddah on Tuesday issued a preliminary verdict on the imprisonment of two Saudi suspects to 38 years.The first suspect was charged with firing on the police center in Awamiyah, Qatif Province, while the other wa...

Stay Connected

Facebook