Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., have been involved in several legal discussions, shall we say, in several countries around the world regarding infringement or non-infringement of various patents. One in particular, which was decided by an administrative law judge on behalf of the U.S. International Trade Commission, is now under an appeal process of sorts – but one not brought up by either party.
The full ITC decided this week that it wanted to review the September ruling by the presiding administrative law judge who determined that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not infringe on four Samsung patents, with three of the patents being ruled valid and the fourth invalid with none of them infringed upon.
What is at issue in the review, says the ITC, is the issue of licensing standards-essential patents to accused infringers, how the FRAND process and design-around process works and whether a there should be an import ban on devices when there is a licensing agreement being negotiated or implemented and determining the amount of harm that could result. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been showing little if any interest in negotiating licensing, and instead has been insisting that it has the patents and that Samsung is the one doing the infringing, but perhaps an ITC review can help establish a framework for these companies to potentially reach an agreement.
The ITC has indicated that it wants all of the important information about standards-essential patents from both parties in this case, government agencies (which includes the Federal Trade Commission) and the Office of Unfair Import Investigations, among others, as well as possible remedies for cases like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) v. Samsung, by Monday, Dec. 3. As Apple is the most popular stock holding among hedge funds, what do you think would be the impact or effect of this investigation on Apple as a company, on its stock and on the holdings of investors like billionaire Julian Robertson of Tiger Management?