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No import ban in InterDigital v Samsung patent case

Trade Commission Staff sides with Samsung

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The US International Trade Commission investigation into alleged patent infringements by Samsung began badly for InterDigital when the Commission indicated that an import ban is inappropriate.

InterDigital is trying convince the Commission that Samsung is infringing five of their key WCDMA (aka GSM 3G) patents and should be barred from importing handsets into the USA. While the ITC recommendation isn't binding on the investigating judge it bodes badly for InterDigital.

InterDigital tried a similar thing with Nokia, in the UK courts, last year. That spat culminated in both sides claiming victory as InterDigital's original claim of 31 patent infringements was reduced to four: one of which is essential to any implementation of the WCDMA standard. That case only wound up in the UK last week, with a confidential agreement and a vow to continue fighting in the US courts.

It's pretty unlikely this case will see Samsung handsets stopped at the US border. Most likely it will rumble on until both sides see an escape that saves face and a sum of money changes hands. So if this is a preliminary skirmish then Samsung has the most men still standing but the battle continues.®

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