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.
Apple claimed that the two patents brought to the suit by Samsung were “standards-essential patents,” which are themselves ineligible to be used in the ITC court. One patent covered user interface and the viewing of digital documents and a second patent covered a method of dialing on a smartphone. A third patent covers the transmission and receipt of data using packets, while the fourth patent has do do with the encoding/decoding of specific CDMA information. The ITC judge found that Apple didn’t violate any of these.
According to MacNN, an appeal is likely, “given both companies’ tendency to appeal rulings that go against them.” There is also a separate complaint at the ITC from Apple against Samsung over seven other patents Apple says Samsung infringed. This case should see a preliminary judgement by mid-October. Samsung is also under investigation by the European Commission to see if they abused standards-essential patents for their own legal benefit, something that could significantly impact future cases between these two tech juggernauts.
Aside from the one judgement in a Korean court, Apple has been the clear winner in case after case. It will be interesting to see how Samsung shapes its coming strategies in response to the continued losses.
Apple has not commented on the ITC ruling, says MacNN, but Samsung has, saying that it remains confident “that the full commission will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position that Apple must be held accountable for free-riding on our technological innovations.” Which sounds like lawyer speak for “it ain’t over till it’s over.”