Bloomberg has reported that the ITC, or International Trade Commission, will be re-evaluating its decision that Apple did not infringe on any Samsung patents from earlier this year. This decision was made on September 14th when Apple and Samsung faced off in court, and Samsung walked away with a $1 billion bill from Apple. The ITC, at the time, said that while Samsung blatantly infringed on many of Apple’s patents, Apple was clear of any wrongdoing in terms of Samsung’s counterclaims. That kind of ruffled some feathers.
The ITC ruled today that Samsung will have another shot at getting back at Apple. The ITC will be reevaluating the case in January (Reuters) and determining whether or not Apple actually infringed on some of Samsung’s patents. If Apple is in fact found guilty of infringing on patents, some of Apple’s products could be blocked from sale in the United States. That could mean that iPhones, iPads, or iPods wouldn’t be on the shelves in the new year. It seems very unlikely at this point, but the possibility is very real. As of now, the ITC has not given a reason why they will be reevaluating the case, but the fact that the score is a billion dollars to nothing surely had something to do with it.
Some of the re-evaluation seems to stem from the classification of standards essential patents and how companies should be allowed to charge for use of those patents. The ITC has asked for briefs on how it should consider these standard essential patents in the case. Standard essential patents are necessary for technology involved with industry standard adherence. For instance, connecting to a 3G network would require the use of certain standards, likely patented by a company. The use of these patents are usually licensed for free or at very little cost.