Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Petitions for review filed in Google-Microsoft and Apple-Samsung ITC cases

There isn't much to write about sealed documents, but four petitions for review (one of them a conditional one) have been filed with the ITC this week in connection with the investigations of Google's (Motorola's) complaint against Microsoft's Xbox gaming console and of Apple's complaint against Samsung. Redacted versions have not become available yet. But it's possible to infer from the headlines what the different players are trying to accomplish:

  • Google's Motorola Mobility is still trying to win an Xbox import ban over a WiFi-related, non-standard-essential patent. It filed a petition on Monday requesting a Commission review of Administrative Law Judge David Shaw's remand initial determination finding no violation. A week ago I wrote that "Google faces a double hurdle in what's left of its ITC case against Microsoft's Xbox": Judge Shaw deemed Google's indirect-infringement arguments waived, but addressed them anyway and concluded that Google's argument would fail even if the related arguments were taken into consideration.

  • On top of that double hurdle, Microsoft has filed a contingent petition for review. Apparently Microsoft has identified at least one defense that might allow it to prevail but which Judge Shaw threw out. "Contingent" means that Microsoft prefers the case to be closed on the current basis, but if the Commission decides to review the remand ID at all, Microsoft wants at least one additional issue to be reviewed. For example, Judge Shaw did not agree with Microsoft that the issues raised by Motorola at this stage all fell within the scope of the remand.

  • Samsung is seeking a review of Apple's recent win concerning two more patent claims being found infringed by Android's text selection.

  • Apple also brought a petition for review (not just a contingent one) of Judge Thomas Pender's remand ID. Apple is apparently still pushing for a finding that an additional product, the SPH-M920 (distributed through Sprint and also known as the Samsung Transform), infringes claim 3 of U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501 on an "audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry". The ITC staff (which participates in some investigations as a third party and does not make binding decisions) was convinced that the Transform does infringe that patent and asked the Commission to overrule the judge on this one right away. The Commission could still do so at this stage.

If you'd like to be updated on the smartphone patent disputes and other intellectual property matters I cover, please subscribe to my RSS feed (in the right-hand column) and/or follow me on Twitter @FOSSpatents and Google+.

Share with other professionals via LinkedIn: