A U.S. trade panel ruled
on Friday that Samsung Electronics infringed on two of Apple patents in making some older smartphones and tablet PCs.
In its final ruling, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) placed a ban on the imports of those devices manufactured by the Korean firm, accepting Apple's complaints filed in 2012.
The ruling is subject to a 60-day presidential review period and it will take effect if approved by the Obama administration. However, it could put pressure on the Obama administration, which only a few days earlier took the unusual step of vetoing an ITC ruling in favor of Samsung that would have barred the sale of some older Apple iPhones and iPads (iPhone 4 and iPad 2.)
In a preliminary decision in October, an administrative law judge at the USITC found Samsung had violated four valid Apple patents, one design patent and three technical patents.
But the USITC's highest-level decision-making body concluded that Samsung infringed on only two of them, related to touch screens and headset technology.
It disagreed with an early judgment that Samsung violated two more Apple patents, a design patent and a translucent images patent.
According to the ITC, Samsung's products that violate Apple's patents include the Galaxy S 4G, the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as well as a handful of other smartphones and tablets released in 2010 and 2011.
Samsung was disappointed with the USITC's latest ruling and stressed the importance of fair competition in global markets.
"We are disappointed that the USITC has issued an exclusion order based on two of Apple's patents," the company said in a statement. "However, Apple has been stopped from trying to use its overbroad design patents to achieve a monopoly on rectangles and rounded corners."
"The proper focus for the smartphone industry is not a global war in the courts, but fair competition in the marketplace," it added. "Samsung will continue to launch many innovative products and we have already taken measures to ensure that all our of products will continue to be available in the United States."