Last week, Apple filed its brief as an intervenor in the Federal Circuit appeal involving Samsung’s stymied ITC case against Apple (Inv. No. 337-TA-794).  Arguing the ITC’s finding of no violation should be affirmed with respect to the one patent-at-issue, Apple’s brief raised a number of SEP issues involving Samsung’s involvement with the IETF and

Because so many SEP-related issues have arisen over the past year, we will periodically revisit some of the more important episodes with a brief post.  Next month, the U.S. International Trade Commission will issue a Final Determination in In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computers (No. 337-TA-794), a Section 337 patent infringement action brought by Samsung against Apple.  This presents us with a timely opportunity to discuss the background of some of the SEP and FRAND-related issues of first impression that may be decided by the Commission in the case.

The Samsung-Apple ITC investigation (337-TA-794) originated with a complaint brought by Samsung against Apple back in June 2011, in which Samsung accused various Apple products of infringing five patents.  Two of these patents — U.S. Pat Nos. 7,706,348 and 7,486,644 — were alleged by Samsung to be essential to the UMTS 3G cellular standard.  Not surprisingly, Apple claimed that Samsung’s FRAND obligations with respect to these SEPs prevent Samsung from receiving an exclusion order, in the event Apple is found to violate Section 337.


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