updated 09:45 pm EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
Initial ruling found Apple not guilty of infringement, likely to be upheld
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has once again delayed a full-panel ruling on Samsung's complaint that Apple violated patents related to the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. The preliminary ruling in September by a single judge held Apple blameless of any violation, with the full ITC judgement being the final word on the subject. The ruling is now expected on May 31, barring any further delays.
Judge James Gildea ruled in September that Apple didn't violate Samsung's patent rights, and found that Samsung was unable to prove it had a "domestic industry" that utilized the patents. The requirement that companies use the patents they are claiming are infringed in the country in which they are suing is exclusive to the ITC, and works to Apple's favor to protect it from import bans had it lost the case.
The four patents involved include one (known as '114 by the last three digits of its full US patent number) that covered user interface and viewing of digital documents; a patent ('980) for a method of dialing in a smartphone; the '644 patent that covers transmitting and receiving data reliably using packet data trasmission, and the '348 patent that involves the encoding and decoding of transport format combination indicators on CDMA phones.
A mirror-complaint by Apple versus Samsung is in the same stage of review. In an initial determination by Administrative Judge Thomas Pender, Samsung has been found to be in violation of four of Apple's patents, including one design patent. Separately, one utility and one design patent were found to have not been infringed by the Korean manufacturer. Apple filed the original complaint in June against six smartphones and two versions of the Galaxy Tab. The final decision on Apple's counterclaim has also been postponed, however it should be revealed on March 27.