Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ITC Judge Decides Samsung Infringes Four Apple Patents

Today, Joe Mullin reports Samsung loses another big patent case to Apple, this time at ITC.

Mr. Mullin asserts the ITC judge's decision Samsung infringes four U.S. patents is "another sign Samsung is losing its global patent battle with Apple" and that the decision may result in a ban of Samsung products in 2013.

I am not so certain this much can be drawn from the ITC judge's decision. The ITC Commission must approve the ITC judge's decision, which may not happen. Even if approved, the Federal Circuit may reverse the Commission's decision. All the legal machinations give Samsung time to design around the Apple patents.

Apple and Samsung have many lawsuits around the globe. Apple has won some key battles, but recently lost in the Netherlands and in the UK. Even when Apple wins Samsung fights back: in Apple's victorious $1B case in San Jose, Samsung managed to get the Federal Circuit to reverse the entry of an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Samsung alleged jury misconduct that could cause a mistrial in San Jose. And just this month the PTO rejected all the claims of Apple's rubber band patent.

So I am not seeing signs Samsung is losing the global patent battle with Apple. Does it matter? Both companies have made and will continue to make great products. However, if Apple and Samsung let the patent battles affect their customer-supplier relationship, perhaps we will have losers: consumers who get less than the best products.

Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.