“Apple Inc.’s legal battle with Samsung Electronics Co. over smartphone inventions could determine if there are limits to the power of patents that cover most widely-used technology for electronics,” Susan Decker reports for Bloomberg News.

“The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington is scheduled to announce today whether Apple infringed Samsung patents for transmitting data and, if so, whether the Korean handset maker can block such a fundamental function of a mobile device. It would be the first final decision in any U.S. cases between the world’s two largest smartphone makers,” Decker reports. “The commission, which can block imports into the U.S., in March asked for comments on how banning older models of the iPhone and iPad tablet computer would affect the public. On a broader scale, the commission must decide if it’s appropriate to exclude a product for infringing a patent that’s part of technical standards it must follow.”

Decker reports, “‘This will be the most important decision from the ITC dealing with the standard-essential patents to date,’ said David Long, a patent lawyer with Dow Lohnes in Washington. ‘In other cases, they found ways out. Here, they seem to be indicating there’s infringement, now what do we do.'”

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