Earlier today we told you that Samsung faces a fine of up to $15 billion in Europe where the European Commission is investigating its standard essential patent use against Apple in several lawsuits in the region, and now we hear there’s even more bad news for the South Korean Android maker.
This time around we’re looking at an Apple vs Samsung case before the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is won by Apple so far, at least in preliminary rulings – a judge recently found Samsung devices to infringe on Apple’s iPhone design patents and three software feature patents.
But what’s interesting is that a “partially censored version of the presiding judge’s initial determination” has been made public, with the recommended sanctions for Samsung being published.
According to the document, Samsung faces “the following draconian combination of sanctions,” as FOSS Patents puts it:
- a U.S. import ban that would enter into effect after the 60-day Presidential review period following a final ITC decision,
- a simultaneous cease-and-desist order that would prohibit the sale of any commercially significant quantities of the imported infringing accused products in the United States (this remedy was denied against HTC), and
- the requirement to post a bond of 88% of the value of all mobile phones, 32.5% of the value of all media players, and 37.6% of the value of all tablet computers found to infringe Apple's patents-in-suit during the Presidential review period.
As CNET explains, this particular case concerns “older Samsung phones and tablets,” not 2012 devices such as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 best-sellers, although these ones are part of a second ITC case between the two tech giants.
And while the initial determination and sanctions recommendation sounds pretty bad for Samsung, the company can still use “designarounds” to prevent any patent infringements for the affected devices. Not to mention that the full six-member ITC commission may rule differently next year – that final ruling is scheduled for February 19, so we’ll have to wait almost two more months to see what will happen.