ITC Not Impressed With Latest Smartphone Patent Thicket Cases

from the patent-protectionism dept

In the past, we've pointed out how many patent holders now get two entirely separate cracks at trying to get those they accuse of patent infringement to pay up. There's the regular court system and there's an entirely separate International Trade Commission (ITC) process, as well. Basically, the ITC can make rulings preventing importing infringing works, totally outside of the court system. And, of course, since so many things are made outside the US these days, this could create an effective injunction against those products in the entire US market. One of the key problems is that the ITC uses different standards than the court system to determine if such an injunction is an appropriate step.

With the massive patent thicket on smartphones, leading to a bunch of lawsuits, many are using both the court system and the ITC to try to force the other side to give in and just pay up. However, so far, it appears that the ITC is not playing along. We recently noted that the ITC indicated it was rejecting Nokia's claims that Apple's iPhone violated some of its patents, and now the ITC has indicated that it won't side with Apple in its claims against HTC and Nokia.

In other words: keep your silly patent pissing fight out of the ITC.

If the ITC keeps rejecting these attempts to stifle competition via the patent system, then hopefully companies will stop using this little loophole to get to extra bites of the (proverbial) apple.

Filed Under: itc, patent thicket, patents, smartphones
Companies: apple, htc, nokia


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2011 @ 9:05pm

    I am not sure the report about Apple is accurate. It is my understanding that the staff at the ITC is making such a recommendation, but as regards the final outcome at the ITC it is merely advisory.

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