updated 12:45 pm EDT, Tue August 2, 2011
ITC clears investigation into Apple vs Samsung
The ITC said Tuesday that it would look into Apple's patent complaint against Samsung. Its step determines that the complaint against Samsung's Android phones and tablets is valid enough to go ahead. Officials have 45 days to set an estimated date for the end of the case.
Most such cases finish within about 16 to 18 months of when they start and lead to product bans if the target is found infringing on one or more patents.
The move follows just days after the ITC took Samsung's case and commits both companies to their stalemate, which includes lawsuits both in the US and abroad. Either company is hoping to raise the stakes of losing enough that the other is forced to reach a settlement. ITC complaints are common tactics in US patent disputes as they finish much faster than full lawsuits and can be used to bring a lawsuit to a quick end.
Both companies will have a chance to appeal if they lose.