It looks like Samsung’s legal woes are not over. After a California district court decided in favor of Apple this August and charged Samsung $1 billion in damages, Samsung’s pending case with the International Trade Commission (ITC) has also been ruled in favor of Apple.
According to ITC Judge James Gildea, Apple did not violate Samsung’s rights in any of the four patents in question. In the decision, Judge Gildea said Samsung was not able to prove that Apple infringed on the patents, and that Samsung was unable to prove that it had a domestic industry that used the patents in the first place.
The domestic business aspect is a pre-requisite for the ITC acting on such complaints. Meanwhile, the ITC, as a collegiate body, can enforce import restrictions on products that infringe on U.S. patents.
The decision is still subject to review by the Commission en banc, and Samsung says it is confident that the ITC will still decide in its favor. Samsung spokesman Adam Yates says the company will continue to pursue its intellectual property claims.
We remain 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. We are proud of our long history of innovation in the mobile industry and will continue to defend our intellectual property rights.
Apple has declined to comment. The company has another pending case against Samsung lodged with the ITC, which is set to be decided upon by October 19.
Analysts have observed that it is difficult to get traction against Apple at the ITC. “Apple at the ITC is bulletproof,” says lawyer Rodney Sweetland in a statement to Bloomberg. “The lesson is, if you want to get relief against Apple, it’s going to have to be in a foreign forum where it doesn’t have the clout or the cachet it has at the ITC or the northern district of California.”
Does Samsung stand a chance against Apple? Are authorities biased in favor of Apple because of its American origins, as compared to foreign companies like Samsung?