Apple Forced to Wait For This Samsung Decision

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The U.S. International Trade Commission has postponed its investigation of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) complaint against Samsung to October 25, with a final ruling target date of February 25 next year, according to court filings. The commission was initially scheduled to issue a ruling on Friday.

The ITC investigation involves the same list of products as the recent jury trial ruling in San Jose, California, that awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. The two rivals filed patent-infringement cases against each other, but the commission has already issued a preliminary ruling throwing out Samsung’s suit against Apple. Friday’s ruling only involved a discussion of Apple’s charges against Samsung. According to the filings, administrative law judge Thomas B. Pender has moved the target date due to his own caseload.

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Judge Pender is still working on two other cases involving Apple — a complaint filed by VIA Technologies and another by HTC. HTC has accused Apple of infringing two of its 4G LTE patents with the third-generation iPad and the iPhone 5. In September, Judge Pender said he wasn’t sure he would accept Apple’s line of defense that the HTC patents were invalid. The Taiwanese company has asked for import bans on the two Apple devices.

Unlike federal courts, which award damages for infringements but only rarely impose product bans, the ITC is frequent with sales embargoes on intellectual property-infringing products. However, the ITC cannot apply financial penalties.

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