Apple has won another round in its international patent battle against Samsung. In an "initial determination," a judge from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has determined that Samsung violated four Apple patents. Before the ruling is finalized, it must be approved by the full commission; the full commission's ruling is due in February.
According to PCMag's Chloe Albanesius, "Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender found that Samsung devices have infringed on an Apple design patent for an 'ornamental design of an electronic device,' as well as three utility patents for touch screens, translucent images on a computer display, and an audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry."
Ars Technica's Joe Mullin noted, "If the ruling holds up, it means a variety of Samsung products are likely to be banned from the US market. Kicking Samsung products off the market is the type of relief Apple is also seeking from the federal court trial it recently won in San Jose; however, it may or may not get such an order. The judge has yet to rule on those post-trial motions."
The Washington Post's Hayley Tsukayama observed, "The ruling is another major point in Apple’s favor as the company battles its top smartphone rival in courts around the world. Apple won more than $1 billion in damages in August after a jury in California found Samsung had infringed on the patents applied to the iPhone. The company has, however, also lost patent cases in courts outside the United States. In fact, a judge in Amsterdam ruled Wednesday that Samsung had not infringed upon Apple’s multi-touch navigation technology, Bloomberg reported. Apple also recently lost its appeal of a British ruling to apologize publicly for insinuating Samsung had infringed its intellectual property."
In related news, The Wall Street Journal's Brent Kendall reported, "The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether Samsung Electronics Co. has misused some of its mobile-device patents in ways that violate antitrust law, rival Apple Inc. said in a legal document filed late Monday. The department is investigating Samsung's use of patents that are deemed essential to wireless-technology standards adopted by the industry, Apple said in a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission."