Reuters is reporting that the U.S. International Trade Commission stated today that it would delay a decision on allegations that Apple infringed upon Samsung patents in making the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. An administrative law judge at the ITC had said in a preliminary ruling in September that Apple did not infringe the patents. The full ITC said it would review the matter. If the full ITC reversed its internal judge and found Apple guilty of infringement, the ITC could order its products banned from the U.S. market.
What's not good is that the ITC has requested filings on questions related to the effect of banning the Apple products on the public interest and whether there were acceptable substitutes for the Apple products if they were to be banned.The ITC said it would now issue a decision on May 31.
Given the advanced stage of this investigation it's pretty clear that the Commission is presently inclined to hold Apple to have infringed at least one of the asserted claims of Samsung's '348 patent.
Yet Florian Mueller thinks it might not be as bad as it sounds as it may only apply to older products. For more analysis of this matter, see this report.