The ITC’s Proposing Some Rough Sanctions Against Patent-Infringing Samsung Phones

The ITC’s Proposing Some Rough Sanctions Against Patent-Infringing Samsung Phones

The Apple vs Samsung battle is trucking along, and this time there’s more bad news for Samsung. Yesterday, a somewhat censored version of presiding Judge Thomas Pender’s suggested sanctions was published by the ITC and it includes not only an import and sales ban on the infringing products, but also the posting of a bond for 88 per cent of the value of those phones.

The ruling, which finds Samsung guilty of infringing on one design patent and three software feature patents is yet to be approved by the ITC’s commission, and that date is set for February 19th. The phones affected here are all older models, Samsung’s flagships being covered in a separate complaint.

If confirmed, the bans would be followed up by a 60-day Presidential review period, with the 88 per cent bond covering sales of the affected smartphones during it. Tablets and media players are also included, but at relatively lower rates of 37.6 per cent and 32.5 per cent respectively. Samsung, of course, had been arguing for much lower percentages.

There is another way out for Samsung, however. The ruling also leaves Samsung with the option of rolling out redesigns to the affected products’ software that could eliminate the need for a sales ban at all. There’s also the business of Apple’s design patents being “tentatively invalidated” by the USPTO which adds another variable to the equation, but it’s a far cry from actual invalidation or Samsung’s saving grace.

Granted, this is all still up in the air, but it’s yet another peice of potential fallout from the unending patent war that doesn’t look good for Samsung. [Foss Patents via CNET]