The U.S. International Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that it will delay its final judgement of claims by Samsung that Apple infringed on certain FRAND patents owned by the Korean firm when it made the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
As noted by Reuters, the case stems from an earlier decision handed down by an ITC Administrative Law Judge in September, who found Apple to not infringe on the patents in suit. The full Commission promised a review of the ruling, which could potentially see the sales ban of infringing iOS devices.
The ITC had requested filings related to what effect banning Apple products would have on the public, including the ready availability of acceptable substitutes. The ITC then pushed the issuance of its final decision until May 31st. While the move could signal a finding of infringement on one or all of Apple’s iOS devices, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents notes the request for party input could be a good sign for Apple.
Mueller pointed out the Commission is now considering FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing, the issue was skirted completely in the initial determination. He says Samsung’s 2.4% royalty rate for Apple will be scrutinized, as it is believed to be much higher than those paid by other companies licensing the technology.
An Apple product ban would not necessarily affect any of the company’s current offerings, as the most recent models of the devices use a different baseband chip supplier. Samsung’s claim is based on older units using Infineon silicon than the current Qualcomm-based devices.