By: Roshni A. Sitapara
In July 2011, Apple Inc. (Apple) filed a complaint against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively referred to as Samsung) alleging violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1337). The complaint resulted from the importation and sale of multiple Samsung devices that Apple alleged infringed several Apple patents. The International Trade Commission (ITC) ultimately ruled in favor of Apple with regards to two Apple patents, one patent is directed towards touch screen multi-touch technology and the other patent is related to headset plug detection.
As a result of the ruling, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order banning Samsung from importing and selling in the United States several Samsung products that infringe the two Apple patents. This ruling could also pose concerns for Samsung in regards to products currently being sold in the U.S. Such exclusion orders are problematic for both foreign companies as well as U.S. companies that produce their products overseas. As demonstrated by this case, Section 337 provides a powerful means to prevent the importation of infringing products into the U.S. market. Our colleague, Ms. Kandis C. Gibson, discusses below, in more detail, the various characteristics and usefulness of the ITC. —click here to read more—