Samsung and Apple have been trading wins and losses in their never-ending battle over patents. If there is one place that Samsung just can’t win, though, it is in the United States.
International Trade Commission Judge James Gildea said that Apple did not violate Samsung’s patents when it made its iPhones, iPads and iPod touch in a preliminary ruling on Friday.
Samsung had accused Apple of violating four patents, and was attempting to block the import of Apple devices into the United States.
The reasons behind Judge Gildea’s decision have not been made public. The full opinion will be made public “when all parties have submitted, and the undersigned has had an opportunity to review, the proposed redaction,” Gildea said in a notice.
Given that this is only a preliminary ruling, the findings by the judge will be subject to review, and may be overturned by the full commission.
“We remain confident that the full Commission will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position that Apple must be held accountable for free-riding on our technological innovations. We are proud of our long history of innovation in the mobile industry and will continue to defend our intellectual property rights,” a Samsung spokesperson told VatorNews.
For the time being, however, Apple has just been handed its second victory against Samsung in a U.S. court in less than a month.
Other Apple vs. Samsung cases
In late August, a U.S. ruled against Samsung in a case against Apple, ordering Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages, less than half of the $2.5 billion that Apple was demanding.
Apple had sued Samsung for supposedly having stolen features from the iPhone and iPad to make its products, including Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Tab 10.1.
While Samsung had charged in a countersuit that Apple had actually infringed on some of its patents as well, the jury did not find it that way and did not order Apple to pay any damages to Samsung. Samsung, which had been asking for $422 million in damages, is expected to appeal that decision.
Besides the hefty fine that was imposed upon it, the ruling against Samsung may have a long term detriment for Samsung: the court will hold a hearing on September 20th to determine whether or not Samsung products that violated Apple’s patents will be banned in the United States.
Apple currently has an ITC complaint of its own against Samsung, filed in July of last year, currently pending. A judge is set to rule on that case is set for October 19.
While losing twice in the U.S., Samsung has been able to strike victories in other parts of the world, most specifically in Asian, where the mobile phone manufacturer is based.
In August, a judge ruled in favor of both Apple and Samsung, saying that they had both violated the other’s patents.
Apple was found guilty of infringing on two of Samsung’s patents and was ordered to pay 20 million won, or about $17,600, while Samsung was found guilty of infringing on one of Apple’s patents and was ordered to pay 25 million won, or $22,000.
Apple was barred from selling its iPhone 4 or iPad 2 in South Korea, and Samsung can now no longer sell 10 of its devices in South Korea, including the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets.
Earlier this month a Japanese court ruled in a preliminary session that Samsung was not guilty of violating Apple's patents on two Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy S and the Galaxy S2, as well as the Galaxy Tab tablet.
Apple was not available for comment on the ruling.
(Image source: phandroid.com)