Could Samsung Suit Leave America Without iPads and iPhones?

Could Samsung Suit Leave U.S. Without iPads and iPhones? Consumer electronics and cell phone companies frequently sue -- and counter-sue -- one another over patents, but the intellectual property battle between Samsung (SSNLF) and Apple (AAPL) has grown a bit more serious: Samsung has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the importation of iPads, iPhones, and iPods into the United States. The Korean company claims the products contain technology that violates some of its patents, according to media reports.

Apple filed patent suits of its own against Samsung in California federal court two months ago. The ITC process to examine Samsung's allegations could take months, as could Apple's lawsuit.

Last year, Apple asked the ITC to ban the importation of Nokia (NOK) phones. But last month, Apple agreed to pay Nokia for the rights to use its patents, which shows how quickly fortunes can change in these situations. The deal cost Apple around $1 billion in upfront costs. And back in 2006, Apple paid Creative Technology (CREAF) to settle IP rights claims for iPod screen features.

These intellectual property suits can have extensive effects on large consumer products companies. Qualcomm (QCOM) asked the ITC to block the import of Nokia products in 2006. The ITC didn't agree, but anxiety over the dispute -- which could have affected a large part of Nokia's business -- led Nokia to settle a later lawsuit over the same issue with Qualcomm in 2008, agreeing to pay royalties.

The most serious dispute among chip companies, cellphone manufacturers and interface software companies came in 2007, and it offers evidence that a ban of iPhone and iPad imports could actually happen. In that case, the ITC did block the importation of a handset that contained Qualcomm chips because rival Broadcom (BCRM) said its patents had been violated. The decision was overruled by a federal court, but for a time, Verizon Wireless feared its business could be seriously impacted. It had a number of handsets that were powered by Qualcomm chips.

One thing is certain in these IP wars: This latest action by Samsung is not a hollow threat. The risk to Apple may be months away, but, it would be naive to think Apple's U.S. business is immune from such challenges, or that its U.S. customers would never have to face the consequences.



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Dereck

This all sound like "Corporate and Industrial Espionage"! Every single Operating System was created by the same Person through IBM, and i'm not talking gates or allen, this person Owns IBM and Microsoft and Creates all the Tech. This same Person Owns Android Market, which is a Private Swiss Company you won't find on the Internet but they do Trademark the Android Logo in the U.S. through Google which He also Owns. Any and all SmartPhones are through Android Licensure Agreements from Switzerland and I see many Companies attempting to look as if they actually have something to Sue for. It all seems very shady, they they might be using other Companies Tech, but they're only going to destroy themselves and end up with nothing Android existing after the meltdown.

July 03 2011 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
liquidwallpaper

Really??? I think that the ITC should tell Samsung that it's too bad. They just want to bring Apple down because it has made sucessful business of the ipads. They are second place and they just want to be on top. Companies infringe on others that created similar designs all the time. Ideas are stolen by reverse engineering their competitors products. It is rediculous these lawsuits.They just can't share the piece of the pie.

July 02 2011 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
daveswrath0704

so who need them fine stop making then and start make cell phone only and the costs will drop to use the cell phone again before all this junk came out you could get a cell phone and text and call all you want and cost 29.00 month now with all junk now ave cost 89.00 month that why we have pc and laptop for a phone is a phone is to use just for that not as a pc

July 01 2011 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to daveswrath0704's comment
rdins4

Lets get rid of toilets and go back to out houses also.

July 02 2011 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rdins4

These patent disputes go on and on and on .... it will be a whole lot of nothing just like all the others.

June 30 2011 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frank1946

Software Guys hate this kind of Truth......................my job is to copy the other Guys Stuff you know !

Ten years ago you might not have been caught, but not now !

Android people must be smiling I suppose !

June 30 2011 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Len

If that's all it took to rid itself of its top competitors, every company would be run by lawyers.

June 30 2011 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
peter

Samsung is the #2 Patent holder in the world.

Apple isnt even on the top 10 list.

June 30 2011 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply