By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 05, 2013 01:50 PM EDT
In a juicy new turn in the Samsung - Apple patent war, some iPhone and iPad models are now banned in the U.S. for patent infringement.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) imposed a ban on some of Apple's tablets and smartphones, as it ruled the devices in question infringed Samsung's patents. Banned devices include the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. The ITC banned Apple's iGadgets after ruling that the products infringe a Samsung patent referring to data transmission. Apple's newer iPhone and iPad models remain unaffected.
A notice (PDF) on the ITC's website shows the decision covers the aforementioned products distributed by AT&T, T-Mobile and two regional carriers: General Communications (Alaska) and CT Cube LP (Texas). The ruling follows a complaint Samsung filed back in 2011.
The infringed patent in question relates to 3G wireless technology, as well as the ability to transmit a number of services correctly and simultaneously. The Cupertino tech giant reportedly plans to appeal the ITC's ruling to ban its devices, according to AllThingsD (ATD). A U.S. presidential order also has the authority to reverse the ruling within 60 days, which means Apple's products still have a chance to remain on store shelves.
Back in September, ITC Judge James Gildea ruled that Apple did not violate the patents Samsung raised in the case. The new ruling now overturns that decision.
Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet told ATD that the company agreed to license Samsung's patented technology under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
"We are disappointed that the Commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal. Today's decision has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States. Samsung is using a strategy which has been rejected by the courts and regulators around the world," ATD cites Huguet. "They've admitted that it's against the interests of consumers in Europe and elsewhere, yet here in the United States Samsung continues to try to block the sale of Apple products by using patents they agreed to license to anyone for a reasonable fee."
Samsung, as expected, couldn't be more pleased with the new ITC ruling.
"We believe the ITC's Final Determination has confirmed Apple's history of free-riding on Samsung's technological innovations," Samsung lashed in a statement to ATD. "Our decades of research and development in mobile technologies will continue, and we will continue to offer innovative products to consumers in the United States."
While this marks a notable victory for Samsung, Apple may not be very affected. The products in question are already two or three years old now and consumers are generally looking to purchase new devices. On the other hand, the company could see its budget smartphone sector suffer, as Apple now markets those devices as "affordable" in an effort to lure in more buyers.
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