The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced Wednesday that it would investigate claims from Samsung Electronics that Apple is infringing on patents owned by Samsung with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch products. Samsung filed the complaint against Apple with the ITC in June of 2011 as part of the back and forth legal fight over patents between the two companies that encompasses both ITC complaints and lawsuits.
Samsung’s complaint includes the standard request to ban all of the infringing products from the U.S., the same request that Apple has made in its own ITC complaints against Samsung with its own patent infringement allegations.
As with the many other cases we’ve covered involving the ITC, the commission specified in its announcement that it, “has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.”
The case will be taken up by an Administrative Law Judge, hearings will be held, staff will investigate, and sometime within the next 12-18 months, a ruling will be handed down that will then be reviewed by the full commission that will then be appealed by the loser.
The patent battle between the two companies started with Android, when Apple accused Samsung of infringing on its patents in order to copy Apple’s innovations with its iOS devices. Both companies have very respectable patent portfolios, and the back and forth accusations are all part of the legal dance between the two companies to gain leverage over the other and either get its competing products off the market or force the other to pay a licensing fee, making those products less profitable.