updated 09:45 am EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Could result in Samsung product ban by October
The US International Trade Commission has pushed a final decision in an Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case to August 1, says FOSS Patents. A rescheduling by Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender was necessary because of a remand and review notice the ITC issued on January 23, when a final decision might otherwise have been heard. A remand initial determination must now be made by April 1.
In October 2012, the ITC made a preliminary ruling that Samsung had violated four Apple patents. If at least one of the patents is found to be violated in the final ruling, Apple will be able to secure an import ban. There would still be a 60-day Presidential review period however, making the earliest possible date for a ban the beginning of October 2013.
Import restrictions may have relatively little impact on Samsung. By October many of the phones that Apple can have banned might be obsolete, or else second-string. Samsung has also won favorable rulings on "designarounds," changes to products that are enough to circumvent patent definitions. Unless some of Samsung's changes have a serious effect on the quality of its products, the company may take little damage financially.