Controversial ruling stops import of products that infringe standard-essential patents

On June 4, the ITC issued a controversial exclusion order against five popular models of Apple iPhones and iPads that infringed a patent owned by Samsung.

When the International Trade Commission (ITC) issues an exclusion order, it does not ordinarily make news. The agency routinely issues such orders prohibiting the import or sale in the U.S. of items that infringe U.S. patents.

On June 4, however, the ITC issued an exclusion order against five popular models of Apple iPhones and iPads that infringed a patent owned by Samsung.

Compliance in Question

For the moment, at least, the ITC remains a particularly attractive forum for SEP owners that wish to enforce their patents. Whereas the courts have made no similar statement, and Judge Posner has expressed hostility to granting injunctive relief, the Apple exclusion order indicates the ITC is willing to do so if an SEP owner put a reasonable licensing offer on the table or if the other side refused to negotiate.

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Steven Seidenberg

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