June 5, 2013
Samsung has won a significant legal victory against Apple. The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that Cupertino has violated a Samsung patent covering technology used to send information over wireless networks. The ruling, however, only affects a limited number of products, according to The Wall Street Journal. The ruling, which could be vetoed by President Barack Obama or blocked by an appeals court, would bar certain iOS devices made to work with AT&T’s network. These include two current products, the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 3G, plus the iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 3. The iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad with Retina display, and iPad mini aren’t affected by this ruling. In documents, the patent is described as "an apparatus and method for encoding/decoding a transport format combination indicator (TFCI) in a CDMA mobile communication system." An Apple spokesperson said that the ruling disappointed the company, but that it “has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States.” Meanwhile, a Samsung spokesman explains:
We believe the ITC's Final Determination has confirmed Apple's history of free-riding on Samsung's technological innovations.Apple doesn’t narrow sales by product model. However, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster believes that the iPhone 4 brought the company $3.4 billion in revenue during the last quarter. This compared to $14.9 billion for the iPhone 5. Were the ruling to stand, it could mean the end of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in showrooms around the world. However, both of these products are likely to be discontinued later this year anyway as new products are introduced. Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in numerous patent lawsuits over the last few years. The hallmark of these has been a $1 billion jury award that Apple won in August. According to The Wall Street Journal, this most recent ruling “raises the incentives for the two sides to reach a more comprehensive settlement.” For more information, see: Apple Is Awarded A Patent For A Technology Already Enjoyed By Samsung Users, Samsung’s Smartphone Revenues Outshine Apple In The First Quarter Of 2013, and The Galaxy S IV Could Be Samsung's Most Popular Smartphone To Date.