The US International Trade Commission (ITC) will review an earlier judge’s decision that found Apple did not infringe four patents of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics in its mobile devices including the iPhone and iPad.
ITC is expected to make a final decision in January next year and has the power to ban Apple’s devices from sale in the US if the company is found to infringe the patents.
In its review, the ITC will be asking questions such as what exactly does that commitment to license patents on a FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) basis really mean?
"Does the mere existence of a FRAND undertaking with respect to a particular patent preclude issuance of an exclusion order based on infringement of that patent?" the ITC asked in a statement.
"Where a patent owner has offered to license a patent to an accused infringer, what framework should be used for determining whether the offer complies with a FRAND undertaking? How would a rejection of the offer by an accused infringer influence the analysis, if at all?"
In June 2011, Samsung first filed for a ban of Apple’s allegedly infringing products, claiming most of its devices were being copied by the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Apple had won about $1.051bn in a patent suit against Samsung in August this year, which is claimed to be one of the biggest patent cases in decades.
In January this year, a US ITC judge had ruled that Motorola Mobility did not violate Apple’s patent technology in any of its BackFlip, Cliq, Droid and other smartphones.