News Column

Apple Wins One, Loses One: Samsung, Books

Aug. 10, 2013
apple, Samsung, books, court decision

Washington (dpa) - The tech giant Apple on Friday chalked up a win on a trade issue against Samsung but took a loss on a ruling that its book publishing undercut the competition.

The US International Trade Commission slapped an import ban on several Samsung products but delayed its implementation pending a review by the Obama administration.

The ruling was the latest development in a more than two-year-old patent battle between Samsung and Apple.

In a separate development, a US judge rebuffed Apple's request to suspend an earlier ruling that found Apple in violation of antitrust laws in signing restrictive contracts with five major US publishers.

On the Samsung issue, the trade commission ruled that the import ban should encompass several older model Samsung phones which violate two Apple patents. But it cleared the Korean electronics giant of violating four other patents held by the iPhone maker.

Nevertheless Apple said that the ruling vindicated its arguments in the bitter legal tussle with its biggest smartphone competitor.

"The ITC has joined courts around the world in Japan, Korea, Germany, Netherlands and California by standing up for innovation and rejecting Samsung's blatant copying of Apple's products," said company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet in an emailed statement.

The ruling came a week after the Obama administration vetoed an ITC ban on older iPhone models which it had found to have violated Samsung patents.

The two companies also clashed in a separate hearing in a US Court of Appeals over whether Samsung should be allowed to continue to sell older products that a jury last year found to have violated Apple patents.

Samsung has argued that the patents in question are minor features on its phones and that Apple has not been able to show that they affected sales of iPhones negatively. Apple is pressing for the import ban to be imposed, in a strategy that could allow it to request a ban on Samsung's best-selling Galaxy S4 smartphone.

On the publishing front, Judge Denise Cote's decision exposes Apple to potentially onerous restrictions on its agreements with the book publishers and other media companies that provide content through the Apple's online stores, website Cnet.com reported.

Judge Denise Cote had found the company guilty last month of colluding with the five largest publishers to fix the prices of books sold through iTunes in a bid to challenge the low prices set by industry leader Amazon.com.

Apple had been hoping that a suspension of the verdict would allow it time to appeal before the imposition of penalties in the case.

The Department of Justice is pressing the court to order Apple to terminate the existing contracts with the publishing houses and to bar any similar deals for five years.

The proposal would also cover Apple's contracts with providers of video, movies, television and music "that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple's competitors may sell that content."






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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH


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