An International Trade Commision judge has ruled that Samsung infringes on four Apple patents in the first round of a case brought by Apple. These patents include one pertaining to the front face of the iPhone, and another for touchscreen technology. This decision is subject to review by the full commission, which is scheduled to finish its investigation into the matter by February 25. This victory comes after a string of legal setbacks for Apple in international courts, one of which will see Apple post an apology to Samsung on its website, and take out ads in several publications. These cases are but a fraction of the legal battles between Apple and Samsung all accross the globe, as Susan Decker reports for Bloomberg:
The case is one of more than three dozen between the makers of about half of the world’s smartphones. Samsung, which lost a $1 billion jury verdict in August against Apple, is challenging a different ITC judge’s findings that its own patents weren’t infringed by Apple. The Korean company has had more success in other countries, including a victory yesterday in The Hague.
Samsung is claiming that if the ruling were to be upheld, it would be a threat to innovations. The full findings of ITC Judge Thomas Pender will not be made public until Apple and Samsung have had a chance to go through and redact any confidential information. From there, ruling goes before the full commission, and if upheld, they could block import of the offending Samsung devices. Any such import ban can be overruled by an appeals court or the President of the United States, who can overturn the ban on public policy grounds. This would not be the first ban on foregin-made smartphones from the commission, who in May forced HTC to alter their phone designs after Apple won a trade case against them. Apple is seeking an import ban on over a dozen Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Nexus, and Galaxy SII.