A bipartisan group of congressmen in the United States has sent letters to the Washington-based International Trade Commission, stressing the need for careful consideration in rulings about “standard-essential patents.”
News reports said the letter might be interpreted as supporting Apple ahead of the ITC ruling on Samsung Electronics’ claims against the U.S. tech firm’s infringement of its patents.
According to Foss Patents, a blog covering software patent news, a letter from the leaders of the intellectual property and antitrust subcommittees of the House of Representatives entered the electronic document system of the ITC on May 22.
Those who signed the letter are Howard Cobble, chairman of the subcommittee on courts and intellectual property; Melvin Watt, a senior subcommittee member; Spencer Bachus, chairman of the subcommittee on antitrust law; and Steve Cohen, a senior subcommittee member. Four senators, including Republican Senator Mike Lee, also sent a similar letter to the agency.
The blog said the letter takes no position on the merits of this particular case, but “reiterates the prior request that the Commission carefully assess the substantial public interest considerations that exist with regards to this and other cases at the ITC in which SEPs are at issue.”
Last September, the ITC said in its preliminary ruling that Apple did not violate any of the four Samsung patents in question. But the commission has delayed its final ruling originally slated March this year, sparking speculation that it was considering in favor of Samsung. The agency said it would make its decision May 31.
(From news reports)