Samsung Electronics might eventually benefit from the decision by the U.S. trade representative not to block the sale of Apple devices if the ruling influences the U.S. International Trade Commission's stance on pending patent claims against Samsung from telecom gear maker Ericsson. "A huge swath of everybody’s patent portfolio has just been rendered impotent," said patent attorney Rodney Sweetland. Industry observers add that companies bringing claims against standards-essential patents -- those that are core to a device's operation -- are especially at risk.

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