Samsung are staring down the prospect of their flat panel TV’s being banned in the USA, one of the biggest markets in the world for the Korean Company, after the US trade Commission ruled that the Company had violated Sharp’s patent rights by including in their TV’s patented technology owned by the Japanese TV Company.
The final outcome could be determined by US President Barack Obama, who can overturn the import ban if he thinks it’s in the public interest to do so.
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Samsung had violated Sharp’s patent rights and ordered both sides to submit arguments on whether an import ban should be imposed. One way out for Samsung is to pay Sharp millions in back patent fees say analysts.
The Trade Commission said that it wanted to consider the effect of such a ban on “competitive conditions in the U.S. economy,” according to a notice posted on the ITC Web site.
Currently Samsung who has been fighting this case for two years is #1 in the US TV market with 19.9% share followed by LG. Sharp is 5th.
Recently the Commission ruled that some Sharp LCD televisions, including ones sold under the Aquos name, should be banned because they infringe a Samsung patent. Sharp are appealing this ruling.
In today’s decision, the commission said it wouldn’t review a judge’s finding that Samsung infringed four patents, in effect upholding his determination.
The commission is scheduled to make a final decision on the import ban by Nov. 9. If it follows the recommendation to ban imports, that decision can be reviewed by the U.S. President.