Samsung Electronics has appealed a ruling by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against only one standard-essential patent (SEP) instead of commercial ones, following the US presidential veto of an import ban of older iPhones and iPads. Apparently, the Korean company decided to zero in on the vetoed SEP.
According to German-based blog FOSS Patents on November 3, Samsung recently filed its opening brief with the Federal Circuit, containing that it is pursuing a SEP (US Patent No. 7,486,644) on appeal among the three patents. The company’s choice is different from industry expectations in that it will focus on commercial patents rather than one SEP at an appeals hearing.
Earlier, Samsung filed a complaint with the ITC against Apple on the grounds that the US-based firm infringed on two SEPs (the ‘348 patent and the ‘644 patent), and two commercial patents (the ‘980 patent and the ’114 patent) regarding the Korean company’s 3G wireless communication technologies. However, Apple was cleared of infringement of those three, aside from one SEP (the ‘348 patent). Ultimately, the US president vetoed the SEP in question. Since an appeal for the vetoed patent was not possible, the Korean tech giant was able to select one from the other SEP and two commercial patents.
Essential technologies for smartphones are copyrighted as SEPs, and SEPs are related to FRAND principles. Last August, President Obama vetoed the ‘348 patent, based on FRAND principles, in which patent holders should allow others to use their patents in Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory manners. Thus, commercial patents were expected to be chosen by Samsung for its appeal, not the other SEP.
In patent battles, the Korean firm is using the SEP as a sword, while its rival company is utilizing FRAND principles as a shield. Hence, Samsung is trying to overcome FRAND issues by employing the other SEP at an appeals hearing.
Related to Samsung’s decision, the blog commented, “The Korean firm seems to be interested in maintaining the SEP after the last veto.” It added, “Or, perhaps it does not believe in the strength of the two commercial patents.”