Apple, Ericsson at loggerheads over fair rate for standards-essential patents
The US International Trade Commission has announced a formal investigation into a complaint filed by Ericsson -- along with a handful of court cases -- following a lawsuit by Apple over what the iPhone maker says is a dispute about a fair rate for some standards-essential and LTE patents. The battle began earlier this year, when Apple complained to a court about "excessive" rates Ericsson wanted to charge for previously-licensed LTE technology.
Nvidia alleges that Qualcomm, Samsung violate seven graphics patents in devices
Video card maker Nvidia has cleared its first hurdle in a patent dispute with Samsung and Qualcomm, as the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to investigate complaints the GPU manufacturer filed over infringement. The ITC will evaluate if a number of possibly-infringing devices, such as the recently announced Galaxy Note 4, should be barred from entering the country. The decision stems from complaints Nvidia filed last month with the ITC and US District Court in Delaware.
Four Samsung patents at stake alleged to cover older iPhones, iPads
A court of appeals has failed to resurrect a US International Trade Commission complaint filed by Samsung against Apple. The appeals court today ruled that the suit would not be reinstated as the court found it agreed with the ITC's determination, and previous rulings in favor of the Cupertino manufacturer would stand.
Tech used is similar but different, court finds
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld an International Trade Commission ruling that found Apple didn't violate a Motorola patent on communications between devices and data networks, reports say. The ruling, issued in May, specifically dealt with Claim 12 of the patent, and whether or not it covered the deletion of apps capable of receiving push notifications. The ITC determined that Apple's implementation of status updates to halt notifications was non-infringing.
Could conceivably increase ban to cover three additional patents
Despite the current government shutdown, an International Trade Commission lawyer has filed a notice of Apple's intent to appeal unfavorable portions of the company's ITC win against Samsung back in August. Though the ruling awarded Apple a victory in declaring that Samsung had infringed on multiple Apple patents -- resulting in an embargo against mostly-now-discontinued Samsung smartphone models -- the iPhone maker is still pushing for a broader ban that includes more patents.
Lack of veto could instill worries about pro-US bias
The Obama administration has until midnight Eastern time tonight to overturn an impending International Trade Commission ban on some older Samsung devices, reports note. Earlier this year, the administration vetoed an ITC import ban on AT&T models of Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad 2. While the ban against Samsung would only affect a small number of outdated phones, that company and others have argued that failing to issue a veto could be a sign of economic protectionism, since Apple is US-based while Samsung is headquartered in South Korea. The administration has claimed that it opposes using patents to block competitors.
ITC complaint victory by Nokia forces changes in HTC One, others
HTC is being forced to change the design of the HTC One yet again, along with other devices in its range, in order to avoid more legal trouble from Nokia. Following the first stage victory of Nokia in its ITC complaint against HTC, the manufacturer is now working on a way to improve the HTC One's radio components, without infringing on Nokia's patents.
60-day review process begins on infringing devices import ban
Updated with Samsung statement on ruling The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled today that assorted Samsung mobile products do in fact infringe on two of four Apple-held patents in a complaint going back to 2011. The panel has issued an import embargo on some of Samsung's older mobile products, preventing it from selling and distributing the infringing devices. Today's ruling begins the 60-day Presidential review process of the ITC ruling.
Asks for 'fair and reasonable' decision on possible ban of Samsung goods
The South Korean government has issued a statement expressing worries about the Obama administration veto of an ITC ban on some Apple products. The Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy says that the decision could harm Samsung's patent rights, and that it will be paying close attention on Friday, when the ITC is expected to rule on a possible ban of some of Samsung's Galaxy devices. "We hope to see a fair and reasonable decision on the matter," the ministry states.
Last-minute ruling is the first ITC reversal since 1987
US Trade Representative Michael Froman, on behalf of the Obama administration, has decided to invoke a Presidential veto of the recent ITC ruling against Apple that would have resulting in a sales ban on GSM iPhone 4 devices (and other models no longer being actively sold). The ruling, in which the ITC reversed its own prior judgements on whether a Standards Essential Patent (SEP) that is under dispute should ever qualify for a sales injunction, was widely criticized even by Apple's competitors as a poor decision that overstepped the ITC's boundaries.
Ban on iPhone 4 to go into effect Monday without intervention
Only days before a mysterious ITC ban on the iPhone 4 (and GSM iPad 2, no longer offered for sale) is to come into effect, the same body has decided -- on the day they were to pronounce judgement on another battle, an Apple complaint about Samsung patent infringement -- to delay the decision by a week. No reason for the delay was given. The matter revolves around four Apple patents -- three technical, one design -- and additional patents Samsung was found to be violating. Ironically, if the ITC continue with the preliminary judgement and staff recommendation, a sales ban on Samsung smartphones and tablets may be issued.
Tech companies, business mags, now politicians say SEP injunction unfair
As the deadline nears for the ITC's ban on some older models of iPhones and iPads to take effect, a growing chorus of companies and individuals have begun calling for an overturning of the ban by the Obama administration in the wake of a lack of action. Two Republican and two Democratic senators have signed a letter urging United States Trade Representative Michael Froman (who has been delegated the decision) to reverse the ITC ban, mostly on the grounds that sales injunctions over Standards-Essential Patent (SEP) disputes are unnecessary.
Position has some political support
The BSA -- a group representing technology companies like Oracle, Intel, and Microsoft -- has taken a position against banning products based on infringements of standards-essential patents, a Wall Street Journal article notes. The move appears to have been spurred by a possible ITC ban of some older AT&T-model iPhones and iPads. Samsung scored the ruling in a complaint against Apple.
Possible sales ban wouldn't affect Verizon directly
Verizon's general counsel, Randal Milch, has published an editorial in the Wall Street Journal calling for the Obama administration to veto an International Trade Commission ban on some iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4 sales. In June the ITC ruled that AT&T versions of the phones must be removed from sale by August 5th. Even though it wouldn't directly affect Verizon -- which has never sold the 3G or 3GS, and carries a different model of the 4 -- Milch claims that the ban would set a bad precedent.
Apple calls precedent dangerous, Samsung wishes embargo enforced
In a letter to the agency that President Obama has delegated the authority to override US International Trade Commission embargo orders, Apple is requesting a rare Presidential veto. The letter to the United States Trade Representative requests that a veto of the order banning import of the AT&T iPhone 4 and iPad 2 be entered, as the ITC ruling in Apple's view sets a dangerous precedent for future ITC rulings and "makes the ITC an outlier internationally and domestically" in its ongoing patent legal battles with Samsung.
Will mostly affect older products but would represent significant blow
One of the numerous International Trade Commission (ITC) complaints Samsung and Apple have hurled at each other is now expected to result in a sales ban on some Samsung products, due to a finding by the ITC staff that grounds for objections on a sales ban are themselves baseless. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII) has determined that a sales ban on the products already found by the ITC in its preliminary judgement to be infringing would not damage the public interest.
Three patents remaining, action limited to older devices
Nokia has withdrawn a single patent from its first US International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint against HTC. Patent number 5,570,369, entitled "Reduction of Power Consumption in a Mobile Station" -- a patent Nokia used to win a sales injunction against HTC for infringing in a court in Germany, has been struck from the complaint at the ITC without a listed reason.
Surprise ruling affects AT&T 3G versions of iPhone 4, iPad 2, older models
[Updated with Apple and Samsung statements on the ruling] Despite finding in September that Apple had not violated Samsung's patent rights and that Samsung didn't have a "domestic industry" that utilized the patents in dispute, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has nonetheless issued a limited ban on older iOS products that utilize a disputed SEP Samsung patent in a surprise ruling on Tuesday. The ban reflects an apparent change in the "domestic industry" portion of the finding, which would normally shield Apple from import bans. The ruling primarily affects the iPhone 4 as sold by AT&T, though other older models are also included in the injunction.
Short delay unusual, reasons for postponement unclear
The oft-postponed US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling expected today in one of the many Apple versus Samsung complaints has been postponed for five days. Not commenting any further on the matter, the commission published a notice saying that the investigation completion date has been postponed until June 4, 2013. It is unclear what the Commission gains with the five-day delay.
Text selection, headphone jack patents at stake
The US International Trade Commission will review a split decision made by a judge in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung, Reuters reports. In March the judge ruled that while Samsung had infringed an Apple patent on text selection, it hadn't infringed on one for detecting accessories plugged into a microphone jack. Final rulings on both patents due to be handed down August 1st.
Single patent remains at stake
Google-owned Motorola Mobility is appealing the US International Trade Commission's dismissal of a complaint filed against Apple, according to newly-published court documents discovered by FOSS Patents. A single patent was left in the complaint at the time of the final ruling, one involving using a proximity sensor to disable a touchscreen when a phone is held close to a person's ear. It's not clear what basis Motorola might be pursuing for the appeal.
HTC One targeted in suit with six patent infringement claims
Nokia has filed more claims of patent infringement against HTC with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), yesterday. The new suit, the second ITC complaint from Nokia against HTC, appears to be targeting the HTC One, along with a number of other devices in the HTC catalog, with another six patents being used for the legal attack.
ITC not reviewing judge's initial remand decision
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has completed its patent infringement investigation against Microsoft. The ITC has declined to review a final initial remand determination issued by the presiding judge, ending the case in Microsoft's favor. Today's move was primarily administrative, with the actual ruling having happened earlier this year.
Amicus curae letter filed notes government attention, ITC responsibility
An an unusual show of solidarity, leaders of the US Congress intellectual property and antitrust subcommittees submitted a letter to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) reiterating the prior request that "the Commission carefully assess the substantial public interest considerations that exist with regards to this and other cases at the ITC in which SEPs are at issue."
Sensor to detect ear proximity patent deemed obvious by board
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has tossed Motorola Mobile's final patent claim against Apple from its 2010 complaint. Google and Motorola Mobile were attempting to obtain a sales embargo on any iPhones using the technology. The patent asserted was a "sensor-controlled user interface for portable communication device" which gives mobile devices the ability to "lock out" screen touches when the phone is up to a user's ear while taking a phone call.
Possible injunction waiting on full ITC commission
Samsung infringed on an Apple patent via a text-selection feature on some of its devices, the US International Trade Commission has ruled. Reuters reports that the decision was actually made on March 26th, but kept confidential until yesterday, so that Apple and Samsung could redact any sensitive business content. The patent specifically describes a "method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display," and is related not only to the text selection in Android's web browser but translucent buttons in the OS' Photo Gallery app.
Expert previously criticized Apple in pro-Samsung UK ruling
Controversy has emerged over a new expert on an Ericsson v. Samsung case at the US International Trade Commission, according to reports. Complaints began when FOSS Patents discovered that the Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob has been brought onto Samsung's side in the ITC dispute. Jacob, significantly, was one of the UK judges who ruled that Apple was non-compliant in publishing a required admission that Samsung hadn't violated Apple's iPad patents.
Three delays thus far raise questions on Samsung complaint
Though it is difficult to keep track at times, the latest update in the ongoing various and sundry legal battles between Apple and Samsung comes from the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which has been examining a complaint made by Samsung accusing Apple of infringing on four of Samsung's patents. The resolution of the complaint has been delayed again, for at least the second time, and is now scheduled for March 7. An ITC ruling on a Apple complaint against Samsung was pushed back last week to March 27.
Joint statement says infringement should lead to bans 'very rarely'
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, both the US Department of Justice and the US Patent and Trademark Office have issued a new policy that argues that sales bans on products that may or may not infringe on "standards-essential" patents (SEPs) should not be allowed except in very rare and specific circumstances. The ruling joins with a previous statement from the Federal Trade Commission, and is intended to influence both the ITC and specific abusing companies, such as Google.
Could leave door open for import ban against Apple devices
Late on Monday, Motorola Mobility filed a petition hoping to keep a complaint against Apple with the US International Trade Commission alive, says FOSS Patents. Earlier, an administrative law judge had ruled that a patent covering the deactivation of a touchscreen when lifting a phone to the ear was invalid, due to an existing Motorola patent making it non-novel. On remand, though, Judge Thomas Pender said there was indeed an infringement by Apple, and ruled that the ITC's domestic industry requirement had been met. If Motorola can convince the ITC to reject the earlier invalidation, it may leave the door open for a future import ban against some Apple devices.
Initial ruling favored Apple, criticized Samsung FRAND abuse
A US International Trade Commission final ruling on Samsung's complaint against Apple will be delayed two and half weeks until February 6, rather than the original January 14 date, according to a scheduling notice from the trade organization. The move does not necessarily signal anything, but is seen as unusual were the full commission planning on simply approving Judge James Gildea's preliminary ruling, which rebuked Samsung harshly for patent abuse.
Pender approves "design-arounds" that could avoid embargo
Documents filed in relation to the October ITC ruling that Samsung had stolen four of Apple's design patents for use in its own products show that the penalty Samsung will reap for its actions is likely to be severe but mostly short-term. Judge Thomas Pender is recommending a complete sales ban on infringing products, and ordering Samsung to post a bond for 88 percent of the value of the products that might be sold during the 60-day presidential review.
Pender finds Moto proximity sensor patent invalid
In a preliminary ruling, the US International Trade Commission has again found that Apple's iPhone did not infringe on a Motorola patent regarding proximity sensors, another win for the Cupertino company in a string of almost-exclusively favorable ITC rulings. Judge Thomas Pender ruled again that the Motorola patent, now owned by Google, is invalid. The ruling came as a part of an appeal against his earlier August decision, which covered both the sensor patent and several 3G-related ones. The ruling is preliminary, and will be reviewed by a full panel.
Motorola attempting to overturn August 24 ruling on three patents
A recently-made-public document from the US International Trade Commission shows that Motorola Mobility filed a notice of appeal with the Federal Circuit on September 19. Motorola is appealing the ITC opinion from August 24 in which the trade standards body found that Apple did not violate three of Motorola's asserted patents, with one remaining patent of the original four being sent to a judge for a ruling.
Judge Pender no stranger to complaints involving Apple
According to court filings made public today, International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender has moved the investigation of Apple's complaint against Samsung. October 25 is the new date of the investigation, with a final ruling target date four months later, on February 25, 2013. The ITC investigation involves the same list of products as the recent jury trial ruling that awarded Apple $1.05 billion dollars.
Samsung's complaints without merit, judge finds
Apple has emerged the victor in a case of claimed patent infringement brought by Samsung to the US branch of the International Trade Commission (ITC), where a judge has ruled [PDF] that Apple was not infringing on any of four patents brought by Samsung. The Korean smartphone rival has tried repeatedly to prove that Apple is itself infringing on Samsung patents, but apart from a partial victory in its home country, has thus far been unable to persuade any courts of this notion. Apple had no comment on the victory.
Two patents remain, none originally developed by HTC
On Monday, HTC filed a motion to withdraw its last "home grown" patent from its contentious US International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint against Apple. HTC is only left with two Apple-claimed standards-essential patents to attempt to assert against Apple, rather than the original claimed eight. The remaining HTC patents and Apple counter-claims are expected to go to trial in about a month at the ITC.
Possibility of success with adding co-defendants remote
HTC's last-ditch effort to apply borrowed patents from from Google to help fight against Apple's infringement battle was shot down by the US International Trade Commission today. The appeal was made after Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender concluded that HTC failed to acquire all the rights in the relevant patents in mid-June. The six-member review commission agreed, and strongly suggested the addition of more co-complainants to fix the deficiency wouldn't fix the problem.
FRAND argument takes center stage in new look
In part influenced by the opinion published by US District Court judge Richard A. Posner in a separate case Apple-Motorola action, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has agreed to review its previous preliminary ruling that found some Apple products to be infringing on a Motorola Wi-Fi patent. If the patent is now found to be a standards-essential patent, Motorola's primary win against Apple thus far could be up-ended.
Google transferred patents to HTC less than a week before suit
An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has granted Apple's motion to have five of the patents asserted against it by HTC thrown out of an ongoing legal dispute. The five patents were assigned to HTC by Google less than a week before HTC filed the complaint in September 2011. Three of eight patents remain in HTC's second ITC complaint against Apple.
Pen support for Apple, MS in trade bans
Motorolais seeking US import bans against the iPhone, iPad, and Xbox 360 based on H.264 playbackand wireless implementation patents. A large quantity of letters supporting Microsoft and Apple have rained down upon the International Trade Commission, asking that they refrain from exclusion orders based on standards-essential patents. Companies and agencies requesting the ITC not ban the products include HP, Nokia, Verizon, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Retail Industry Leaders Association, Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), and Cisco. No third-party public interest statements have been filed in support of Motorola's possible injunction.
May use Cheech and Chong 'test' for infringement
The ITC judge overseeing Apple's ongoing patent infringement case against Samsung's Galaxy Tab and smartphone lines referred to a famous comedy routine by the comic duo Cheech and Chong as a test for infringement, a possible hint that the judge is favoring Apple's claims. The test refers to a straightforward way to identify a copy: "Does it look like it, feel like it, smell like it?" Apple has asserted that Samsung "slavishly copied" the look and feel of various Apple products.
HTC One X and Evo 4G LTE on the way to stores
The US Customs and Border Protection department has released the month-long hold on HTC's One X and the Evo 4G LTE. The customs review went into effect on April 19, preventing the Evo 4G LTE from a full retail release through Sprint as expected on May 18. Limited One X phones reached AT&T during the same period. Last week, Customs released a portion of the embargoed phones to the carriers for sale in anticipation of the release.
US customs continue inspection of HTC handsets
Some HTC handsets, potentially including the One X and Evo 4G LTE, are slowly making their way through US Customs, the company reports. A recent update on the HTC corporate website notes that some handsets are passing Customs inspections, despite an International Trade Commission (ITC) ban on the devices entering the US.
ITC trade ban in place, no timetable for release
HTC has confirmed that US Customs is holding shipments of the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones. An International Trade Commission (ITC) ban is in place, preventing the customs release while a review of the shipments for non-infringement of Apple patents is underway. HTC has protested the hold, saying it believes the phones are no longer in violation of the sales injunction applied by the ITC.
Ordered to produce a one-page summary
A US-based International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has accused Apple of trying to get around a page-count limit in court filings in its dispute with Samsung and has struck some 3,000 pages of patent analysis the company produced. Instead, according to Administrative Law Judge E. James Gildea, Apple must submit a one-page table of its invalidity contentions as contained in the ITC rules by the end of business today (Tuesday).
ITC hands Motorola partial win in Apple dispute
Motorola won an at least temporary victory from the International Trade Commission on Tuesday. The agency found (PDF) that Apple had infringed on one of four patents Motorola had leveled, covering a Wi-Fi implementation. As with other ITC disputes, the determination still faces a review that could reverse the decision.
Motorola gets early blow against Microsoft
Motorola landed a major early victory in its dueling lawsuits with Microsoft on Monday after the International Trade Commission ruled (PDF) that Microsoft had violated four of its patents. The initial findings would effectively ban the Xbox 360 for its use of the H.264 video format, a claim it has leveled against other Microsoft products as well. As a first ruling, it's not automatically in effect and faces a review by a panel, due in August, before it's enforced.
Apple has trouble persuading court on Samsung
Apple has largely been unsuccessful in attempting to appeal its denied early ban on Samsung devices in the US. Judges in an appeals court hearing on Friday was told that, while the main case's Judge Lucy Koh thought it probable Samsung had copied Apple technology, there wasn't a strong enough sign that any imitation was doing damage to Apple's health. Apple had tried to argue that it didn't need to show a direct loss.
ITC issues final ruling on Apple vs Motorola case
The International Trade Commission issued a final ruling (PDF) later on Friday upholding its view that Motorola didn't violate Apple patents in one dispute. It reviewed one concern each for the three patents under dispute but maintained the verdict it had delivered in January. The verdict was coming two months ahead of an original May 14 target.