Samsung posts bonds with ITC, suggests continued infringement of Apple patents

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Following its defeat in court on Friday, Samsung has posted surety bonds with the U.S. International Trade Commission, a move that strongly suggests the South Korean tech giant is still importing and selling at least some products that infringe on Apple-held patents.

In handing down a victory for Apple on Friday, the ITC left open the possibility for Samsung to continue to import and sell infringing phones, media players, and tablet computers so long as the firm posted a surety bond of 1.25 percent. As Foss Patents' Florian Mueller notes, Samsung has now posted that bond, which will forestall sales bans on infringing products until the completion of a 60-day Presidential review period.

Following the ruling, a Samsung spokesperson said that "upon a thorough review of the order, we will decide upon which measures to take."

The amount of the bond posted is unknown, as that figure is redacted in the letter of receipt from ITC Secretary Lisa Barton to Samsung. The bond is meant to ensure that Apple can recover damages in the event that Samsung's liquidity changes between now and the cessation of ITC proceedings.

What is notable is that the bond is intended to specifically to cover infringing products, not those products for which Samsung has already developed a workaround. The South Korean firm has already done as much with a number of Apple patents, including some multitouch features and a mechanism for detecting when a headphone jack has been inserted into the unit's plug. An administrative law judge has consequently cleared such products for continued importation and sale in the U.S., and the workarounds were additionally supported by Judge Thomas Pender.

As Mueller points out, the posting of the bond, then, would seem to indicate that Samsung is aware that some number of the products it is still importing still infringe on Apple-held patents. Further, it would appear that the firm has been importing such products throughout the duration of the ITC's investigation.

The ITC's decision covers "electronic digital media devices that infringe one or more of [the patent claims-in-suit that the ITC deemed valid and infringed and that satisfied the domestic industry requirement]," according to Mueller. That definition could well cover products as new as Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4. Apple has already tried to add that model and others to the suit, saying that the GS4 and newer Samsung models still infringed its patents.


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