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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Samsung Infringes Apple Patents, ITC Judge Says

Samsung Electronics lost the first round of a U.S. trade case brought by Apple, its second big defeat this year in America as the companies battle worldwide over smartphone and tablet computer technology.

U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender said in a notice yesterday on the agency's website that Samsung infringed four patents, including one for the front face of the iPhone and one for touch-screen technology. The judge?s findings are subject to review by the full commission, which has the power to halt products at the U.S. border and is scheduled to finish its investigation by Feb. 25.

"If left to stand, this initial determination could lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices for the American consumer," Samsung said in a statement. Samsung also plans to appeal against the preliminary ruling.

Apple filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission in mid-2011, accusing Samsung of infringing on its patents in making the Captivate, Transform and Fascinate smartphones, and the Galaxy Tablet.

Apple won a legal victory over Samsung in August when a jury in a federal court in California found that Samsung had copied critical features of the popular iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. Samsung has appealed.

Apple has asked the federal court and the trade commission to permanently ban Samsung products that infringe on Apple patents. Neither the judge nor the commission has ruled.

A Dutch court also ruled Wednesday that Samsung had not infringed on Apple patents by using certain multitouch techniques on some Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers.

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