ITC judge rules Samsung infringed Apple's text-selection patent

ITC judge rules Samsung infringed Apple's text-selection patent

Summary: Things have taken a nasty turn for Samsung in its worldwide battle against Apple with a new ruling from the International Trade Commission.

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Things have taken a nasty turn for Samsung in its ongoing patent battle worldwide against Apple thanks to a new ruling by the International Trade Commission.

Specifically, a federal judge ruled that Samsung infringed upon an Apple patent regarding a text-selection feature on smartphones and tablets, according to Reuters.

However, the preliminary ruling also declared that Samsung didn't infringe upon a second patent owned by Apple, which enables devices to detect if another device is connected through the microphone jack.

The international news service specified that the decision actually came out on March 26, but it had been kept confidential until late Thursday.

Back in January, the ITC was actually persuaded by Samsung to review a preliminary decision that a number of its products infringed upon Apple-owned patents.

The ITC took the case with part of it being sent back to ITC Judge Thomas Pender. Now it looks like that plan somewhat backfired for the Galaxy smartphone maker.

Now the case will be presented before the entire commission with a vote expected this August to uphold or overturn today's ruling.

If that vote goes in Apple's favor, it means that Samsung could be banned from selling products within the United States that infringe upon that patent.

Topics: Patents, Apple, Government, Legal, Samsung

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122 comments
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  • Text selection? Really?

    Has this silly battle gotten so low that they are fighting about how you select text on your devices?
    mathiasappel@...
    • Yes

      The Patent Office is using software to search for/thru existing patents and, it appears, award patents to new applications that don't meet the returned results of the search ( without serious review by experienced and qualified humans ).
      IAFarm2
    • If you look at the tiny details, it all seems nit-picky.

      But when you look at the big picture (i know, it doesn't suit the hater agenda), Apple worked hard and delivered and Samsung and the rest of the wannabes stole what Apple delivered. You haters can sit back and drink your hater-aide, but you all know what phones looked like and acted like before the iPhone and right after it. Lie to yourself, lie to your momma, but don't try to lie to me. Thieves sucks and shouldn't be rewarded. Samsung and Google are thieving b@sstards. And you trolls can sit back and drink your troller-aide, but you all know damn well that Apple was on the up and they paid for or innovated their tech. You can whine and cry about the price but it happens to be what the market will bear so you are all just crying out of the wrong end... Go take a good look in the mirror and see what a sore loser looks like. Apple took the dork and the geek out of technology and made it do what it should have done all along, and now any schmoe off the street can use it and that just chaps your sore cheeks. Whaaaaaah Cry me a river.
      i8thecat4
      • Patent Rules -- Ignored

        A patent is only to be awarded to an invention that is "not obvious to a practitioner in the field", something ingenius that most "practitioners in the field" would not have thought of - something truly unique and inventive. Selecting text with your finger tip would be obvious to ANY first day programmer working on phone interfaces. Patents like this, and thousands of others (Amazon One-Click Checkout?!?!?), NEVER, EVER should have been awarded. If the patent office had acted like this at the beginning of the previous technology revolution, every brand of car would have to have a different method of steering, accelerating, braking, etc. "We have a patent on the steering wheel!!!!". Stupid. Insane.
        Techknowledgie
        • Actually steering wheels were patented

          Actually steering wheels were indeed patented... or more precisely how they worked was patented. And there were a bunch of different methods. And yes, every car had a different way of doing it. That's called COMPETITION. Patents encourage innovation by protecting the inventor for a certain number of years (5-20, but usually around 14 yrs). They may be obvious to you or me, in hindsight, but I'd like to see you invent anything. Samsung just straight up copied everything Apple did without doing a lick of research or investment. They did it to Motorola too years ago, but back then they were just guilty of copying design stuff (like emulating the Razr) and copying Blackberry (remember the Samsung Blackjack? LOL). They were never taken to task for it. Someone finally stood up to them and said ENOUGH!
          cmoya
          • Patents are suppose to be for implementation, not concepts

            The wheel part of the steering system was not patented, but the mechanism for steering. These patents being issued for software are for concepts, not implementation. So Apple developed a way to select text with a finger tip. Fine. They can patent how they implemented it. However, if I create another way of selecting text that doesn't use the same method, then it is not a patent violation - or is not suppose to be. Using your steering wheel analogy, no one else would have been able to create another steering system, even if using a different method.
            ElmoC
          • Different methods

            "So Apple developed a way to select text with a finger tip"

            Yes Apple developed their own unique way or 'method' for selecting text on their phone, which Samsung straight cloned (though buggy). I remember picking up one of their tablets 2 years ago and couldn't believe how blatant a clone it was to what Apple developed. The even tried to clone Apple's magnifying glass on the text selecting but did such a poor job implementing (developing) it.

            Google managed to steer clear enough from Apple's design and METHOD with their text selecting on Android, but Samsung being Samsung they couldn't help themselves. Let's just call a spade a spade, and stop defending thieves like Samsung.
            dave95.
          • I know

            and after Apple invented all those concepts that Palm used years before the iPhoney was even a thought. I really FEEL for Apple. The biggest phoneys in the patent stealing business...and bragging about it!
            timspublic1@...
      • Wow

        Less caffeine will do you wonders! You're so amped that I'm afraid you'll explode if and when you ever step on an Apple patent yourself.
        Shift4SMS
      • And you know what you're talking about, right?

        @i8thecat4

        Thieves? Apple did not 'invent' the smart phone, nor have they 'innovated' to it! Simply put, the technology caught up and it became possible. Apple was simply first to market! Now that doesn't mean they should now file and own a ton of useless patents to lock everyone out of the market.

        You seem to be a frustrated Apple shareholder who's talking with emotion rather than logic and sanity. :)

        Feel sorry for you, really.

        Take the rumored Apple iWatch... everyone is shouting that 'again' Google and Samsung (who are producing their own version) have copied Apple again! While if you do your due-diligence, you realize that Samsung had a smart watch many years ago and that Google filed for patents years ago. This should silence the Apple camp right? Nope... not these guys... everyone is copying Apple regardless.
        Jeach
        • You're Right About One Thing

          Apple did not invent the smartphone, nor did they invent the tablet, the MP3 player, the laptop, the mouse or even GUI. What they did do was to understand the potential of these technologies, and, the ultimate importance of the human interface.

          With the GUI, they purchased the idea from Xerox PARC, improved upon it (dare I say innovate) and introduced it to the masses; eventually Microsoft ripped-off the idea without paying.

          With the mouse, they took an unlicensed design, improved upon it (dare I say innovate) and introduced it to the masses; eventually PC makers ripped-off the idea.

          With the laptop, they took an unlicensed design, improved upon it (dare I say innovate) and introduced it to the masses; eventually PC makers ripped-off the idea.

          With the MP3 player, they took an idea, improved upon it (dare I say innovate) and introduced it to the masses; eventually everyone ripped-off the idea.

          With the tablet, they took an idea, improved upon it (dare I say innovate) and introduced it to the masses; eventually PC makers, then Android makers ripped-off the idea.

          With the smartphone, they just plain invented it by taking the sum of their previous knowledge the next logical step. In this case, many companies had the opportunity to see what Apple saw but they didn't. Apple just took a little GUI, a little iPod, a little Palm, a little GPS, a little Nokia and a whole lot of understanding what everyday humans need, and invented the current smartphone category.

          Apples's mistake was having Eric Schmidt on the Board of Directors. By the time the iPhone project reached the BOD (about 2003), it was a fully developed business plan that only needed polishing, marketing, production and support components. That weasel Schmidt, as CEO of Google, saw the brilliance of the project and took it to Google. Suddenly in 2005, Google purchased Android and totally changed the UI to be more Apple-like. When this became apparent to Steve Jobs in 2009, Schmidt suddenly resigned.

          So, while it was inevitable that the smartphone would come into being, it probably would have been (another) commercial flop if it wasn't for the iOS UI, which Google copied BEFORE the first iPhone was introduced. If Google hadn't started work on the iOS-like Android OS around 2003, Apple today would rule the smartphone world.

          To sum-it-up, Google copied the most important aspect, the UI, using insider knowledge of the operation. They used Apples's R&D as if it were theirs; that's just wrong. Apple never ripped-off the GUI, they were the only one that actually PAID for it. The hardware just don't matter. . .

          What is wrong with Apple protecting it's extensive R&D investment???

          Now about that iWatch, jeez, you fell for that one? I have an iLamp I can sell you! Just wait.
          Gr8Music
          • Wow we got a Car.

            And take an internal combustion engine, take some wheels with pneumatic tires, and some horse carriage suspension. Then put some brakes, a steering linkage, a transmission and some doors, and wow we got a car!!!! Apple invented that process??? When???
            bigpicture
          • Wow - You Too?

            In your scenario - I guess, but you're not smart enough to understand the real point.

            In mine, Apple took all those things, put them together, but INVENTED the UI of a steering wheel, pedals for brakes and accelerator, automatic transmission, air conditioning, HUD and whatever - ALL FOR OPERATOR CONVENIENCE . . . do you get it yet? It's not the hardware!
            Gr8Music
          • No we don't get it ---- You're making little sense.

            Because Apple would stop anyone else doing the same thing and coming up with an alternative UI. In case you've not noticed IOS and Android use different engines therefore the code is different. But for some reason Apple say Google 'stole it'.

            Maybe you could adapt your analogy to explain what they 'stole', how they 'stole it', and exactly how they themselves didn't 'steal' anything themselves at any point in their entire existence.

            PS I don't particularly care as I use both and would love to look at surface type devices next. I do get annoyed listening to folk with closed minds though... folk that believe what others tell them without any thought. Brainwashed folk are always a dangerous breed, under any circumstances.
            johnmckay
          • Guess you forgot

            Before the iPhone came out android was a blackberry clone, when they saw the iPhone they decided to copy them and that's why you have what you have today.
            new gawker
          • Other Touchscreen Phones Were First

            And before the iPhone, Siemens had a touchscreen phone - SX66. You pretty much had to use a stylus, but that was a current tech limitation.
            Regulator1956
          • Henry Ford the innovator

            And that's why Henry Ford will always be remembered for creating the Model T and bringing the car to the masses.
            new gawker
          • So you are saying that...

            ...it's OK to steal a little bit from multiple people. I quote you" "Apple just took a little GUI, a little iPod, a little Palm, a little GPS, a little Nokia..."

            Why is that any different from Samsung stealing one idea from only one source?
            jaykayess
          • Apple paid Xerox?

            "With the GUI, they purchased the idea from Xerox PARC, ... eventually Microsoft ripped-off the idea without paying. "

            Tell me, exactly why did Xerox try to sue Apple for stealing their GUI (at a point when Apple were trying to sue Microsoft)?
            imaginarynumber
          • And don't forget - MS paid for a source license.

            so they didn't exactly steal that much either.

            And what they did steal (the source, in an unlicensed use) they were convicted.
            jessepollard