Samsung Electronics (005930) faced its second big defeat in the U.S. as an International Trade Commission judge handed Apple Inc (AAPL) a preliminary victory in one of its patent battles as he ruled that the Korean company infringed four of Apple's patents.
Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender ruled Wednesday that Samsung infringed some of Apple's patents related to mobile devices. The patents in focus include those pertaining to the design of iPhone and technology employed for touch-screen devices and for connecting headphones.
Apparently, the judge's ruling is subject to review by the commission, which has the power to ban the products in the U.S., and the investigation is likely to be completed by Feb.25, Bloomberg Businessweek has reported.
The ruling comes as a blow to Samsung, which lost a $1 billion jury verdict in August against Apple as it challenged a different ITC judge's findings that its own patents were not infringed by Apple.
Responding to the ITC judge’s ruling, a Samsung spokesman said in a statement that the decision could lead to fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. "We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products for American consumers," he added, according to the Wall Street Journal.
However, an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. In early trade Thursday, Samsung shares were up 0.2 percent against a flat market.
While handing out the ruling, jurors found Samsung had willfully infringed some of Apple's patents, including three for the shape of the iPhone and its on-screen icons.
Earlier, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected a patent for Apple's "bounce back" feature that refers to the way an image, a list or another item on the screen bounces back once a user scrolled beyond its edge.
In a setback, however, another ITC judge ruled in September that Apple did not infringe Samsung's patents, though that ruling, like the one published Wednesday, is subject to review by the commission's other judges.
It's A Victory For Samsung In The Netherlands
In a separate case, a Dutch court ruled Wednesday that Samsung Electronics had not violated an Apple patent on smartphones and tablet computers.
Apple filed a lawsuit with a court in The Hague, accusing Samsung of infringing a patent on a touchscreen application crucial to many smartphones. The function allows touchscreens to detect multiple touches simultaneously. For instance, when two fingers are pressed at different points on the screen they are detected smartly.
The Dutch court said Samsung had not violated the patent and rejected all of Apple's arguments. The ruling confirmed a preliminary injunction handed down in August and referred to similar judgment of other court in recent months, the Wall Street Journal pointed out.