After going through both side's filings, the ITC will decide whether or not to hear the case; if they decide in the affirmative, hearings would begin in 15 to 18 months. As we reported, the courts have granted Apple's request to see Samsung's unfinished new products to make sure that they do not infringe on the Cupertino based firm's patents. Samsung's request to see the work in progress on the Apple iPhone 5 and the Apple iPad 3 was turned down.
Gleacher and Co. analyst Brian Marshall says that since Samsung owns a number of patents that Apple needs to manufacture the iPhone and iPad, it would make sense for Apple to give up the challenge and agree to a settlement with Samsung that would allow both firms to cross-license each others' intellectual property. Apple remains Samsung's second largest customer for parts but as we reported, the former could end up replacing Samsung with Taiwan Semiconductor when the A6 chip rolls out in 2012.
Meanwhile, there is some vague gossip going around that speculates that Samsung will separate its semiconductor and LCD business from the rest of the company to avoid a conflict of interest. A conflict in Samsung's displays unit occurred last year when a shortage of Samsung produced AMOLED screens forced the company to stop supplying them to HTC for the DROID Incredible and save them for use in the company's own Galaxy S handsets.