Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The Apple-Ericsson confrontation continues to heat up. The U.S. International Trade Commission says it will investigate Apple, based on two complaints alleging that Cupertino illegally infringed on Ericsson patents.
Ericsson previously asked the ITC to block Apple products, such as the iPhone, from selling in the United States while the case is being investigated.
The Obama administration has vetoed a product ban on older Apple devices that was proposed by the U.S. International Trade Commission in June. Apple was found guilty of infringing a Samsung wireless patent, and the ITC declared a sales ban on iOS devices older than the iPhone 4S and third-gen iPad.
Trade Representative Michael Froman issued the veto for the executive branch today, marking the first time a presidential administration has vetoed a product ban by the ITC since 1987.
Thanks to Samsung and the International Trade Commission, Apple will be banned from importing the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 into the United States from Sunday, August 4. The Cupertino company has been trying to fight the ban since it was confirmed last October, but it’s had little success.
Now it is seeing unlikely support from Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle, which all agree that the use of standards-essential patents to ban products should not be allowed.
Apple has asked the International Trade Commission to postpone an import ban on the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 while a court considers its appeal. The ban is set to go into affect on August 5 — just under four weeks away — but Apple has argued that it will “sweep away an entire segment of Apple’s product offerings” and harm iPhone carrier partners.
Following a win by Samsung in the International Trade Court claiming that older Apple devices violate one of its patents, the ITC has issued an import ban on iPhone 4, iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G devices that run on the AT&T network.
Qualcomm, the company that manufactures Apple’s baseband chips for iOS devices, has slammed the Cupertino company in an official ITC filing over its response to questions regarding the availability of injunctive relief over SEPs and criteria for FRAND royalty rates.
Qualcomm says Apple’s thoughts on the subject are a “sham,” that the company “should be ashamed of itself.”
Later today, then, a judge with the US International Trade Commission, or ITC, filed an initial determination that said that Samsung is actually in violation of one of Apple’s iPhone design patents, as well as three other software patents. Two other claims were found not to be infringement.
Since I’m sure you all stay awake at night worrying about the latest developments in ITC complaints and patent disputes, you’re all probably dying to know that Motorola has withdrawn a complaint it made against Apple back in mid-August. We have absolutely no idea why the sudden change of heart, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. The web is abuzz with theories, but the truth is most likely much less controversial.
Motorola is looking to bring down the ban hammer on almost every Apple product out there, including every Mac OSX computer. I have no idea if Motorola is just looking to throw spaghetti at the wall or what, but they have a long list of infringements that apparently the International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate.
Add another mark in the “winning” column for Apple today, as a judge from the US branch of the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Apple did not infringe any of the four patents brought before the commission by Samsung.
Judge James Gildea posted his ruling in a short notice on the court’s website. He also found that Samsung was unable to prove that it had a “domestic industry” that used the patents in question. This last bit has to do with a requirement of the ITC that the patents being brought before the court must actually be used in the same country as that court. This ruling is preliminary; the full ITC panel will review the ruling early next year.