Apple wins key patent case against rival Samsung in US

Apple has won a key patent case
against rival Samsung at the US
International Trade Commission (US
ITC).
The US ITC upheld a 2011 decision
which found that Samsung had infringed
Apple patents in the production of
mobile phones, media players and
tablets.
The US ITC has ordered that Samsung
devices affected by the ruling are
banned from the US.
But that ban is on hold while US
President Barack Obama reviews the
decision.
The President has 60 days to assess the
US ITC's findings, although analysts say
he is unlikely to overturn the
commission's decision.
"We are disappointed that the ITC has
issued an exclusion order based on two
of Apple's patents," Samsung said in a
statement.
"The proper focus for the smartphone
industry is not a global war in the
courts, but fair competition in the
marketplace."
Apple hailed the decision, placing it in
the context of the tech giants' global
patent battles.
"With today's decision, the ITC has joined
courts around the world in Japan, Korea,
Germany, Netherlands and California by
standing up for innovation and rejecting
Samsung's blatant copying of Apple's
products," said the company.
Two patents
The ruling applies to two patents.
The first is the so-called " Steve Jobs
patent ", named after the company's
founder, which involves touch-screen
technology.
The other patent is related to the audio
socket on devices.
"It's another significant victory for
Apple," intellectual property analyst
Florian Mueller told the BBC, "especially
because the famous Steve Jobs patent is
a pretty foundational patent."
Four other patent infringements asserted
by Apple were turned down by the US
ITC.
Ongoing battles
Apple and Samsung have been fighting
patent battles for years and across 10
countries.
The fight has escalated after Samsung
overtook Apple last year to become the
global leader in smartphone sales.
Battles between Apple and Samsung have
escalated as Samsung has eaten into
Apple's market share
In Washington on Friday, a federal
appeals judge heard testimony in a
separate patent case between the two
companies relating to a decision last
year, in which Samsung was found to
owe Apple $1bn (£645m) for infringing
on patents.
That penalty was later struck to $450m,
but Apple appealed against the ruling. A
verdict in that case has not yet been
issued.
Separately, last weekend President
Obama issued the first presidential veto
in 26 years relating to a US ITC decision.
That veto overturned a ban on older
models of Apple's iPhones and iPads
because of its "effect on competitive
conditions in the US economy".
Friday's ruling is widely seen as a victory
for the company.
"In a way. the noose is tightening. Apple
step by step actually is gaining leverage
against Samsung," says Mr Mueller.