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
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.