An ITC judge believes that Samsung has infringed on a key part of one of Apple's patents. Judge Thomas Pender stated that he found Samsung's text-selection feature to be infringing on the patent, a feature that is both part of the Internet Browser in Samsung's devices, as well as the translucent buttons in Samsung's photo gallery. Judge Pender's decision is only a preliminary decision however, and will need to be approved by the rest of the ITC.
Judge Pender issued his decision on March 26th, however, he only revealed it on April 4th after giving both Apple and Samsung time to redact sensitive information on the document. The patent is part of a list of patents Apple accused Samsung of infringing on back in 2011. A year later, in October 2012, Judge Pender ruled that that patent, along with 3 others, were indeed infringements.
The entire ITC wanted Judge Pender to review his decisions on 2 of the patents he ruled that Samsung's devices infringed on. The patent in question is for a "method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display". If the ITC approves Judge Pender's decision, infringing devices from Samsung's Galaxy-line and Nexus-line could be blocked from being imported into the United States. He also reviewed the patent for an "audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry". Judge Pender decided that the latter patent was not an infringement after all.
After the entire ITC decides whether or not they should approve Judge Pender's decision, a final decision will be issued most likely by August. This is just another chapter in the neverending Apple v. Samsung case. Judge Lucy Koh recently reduced $450 million from Samsung's $1.05 billion judgement, and Apple is attempting to persuade Judge Koh to reinstate at least $85 million of that judgement. Samsung's judgement may be reduced even further now that the USPTO has invalidated its "Bounce-Back" patent yet again. We'll keep you posted when there are any new developments in the case.