According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Office of Unfair Import Investigation issued a filing in support of a preliminary finding from an administrative law judge that held Samsung in violation of four Apple patents. The support brings the ITC case just one step closer to being resolved after both parties petitioned for a review while Apple wanted broader sanctions while Samsung looks to protect its products from a possible sales ban.

It was pointed out that if the Commission was to adopt the ITC staff recommendation, a sales ban as specified by the initial determination could be instituted “rather quickly,” however such an injunction against legacy products would likely be meaningless if workarounds are already in place. As of right now, it’s also unknown what impact a supporting Commission ruling might have, however, Samsung’s workarounds have yet to be revealed as well.

Apple may be seeking a reversal of Judge Pender’s finding of non-infringement for certain Samsung products regarding a design patent for the iPhone 3GS, as well as a similar judgment on a utility patent involving plug detection mechanisms in its petition for review. If both asserts were to be validated, the Samsung sales ban would be widened to include at least two more handsets. As far as Samsung’s petition goes, the company is raising many of the issues already decided by Judge Pender, including claim construction, infringement and validity, and tacks on “prejudicial procedural errors” having to do with evidence submittal.

As of right now, the ITC is also scheduled to review a completely separate complaint regarding a previous decision that cleared Apple of infringing on Samsung’s wireless patents. The final determination for this issue is slated to be concluded sometime next year.

Overall, it all comes down to the legal mess between both tech giants continuing.

Source: FOSS Patents via AppleInsider