Using the ITC to attempt to ban importing of products isn't new in the technology world. Samsung itself used the ITC this week to file suit against Apple to attempt to block Apple from importing iPhones and iPads into the U.S., alleging that Apple infringed on Samsung's technology. At the same time, Apple is said to be one of Samsung's larger customers, buying Samsung memory chips for its devices.
The lawsuits typically are not enforced to block importation, although that is the legal threat. As Fernandez noted, and as evidenced in the resolution of previous ITC suits, these lawsuits typically lead to financial negotiations.