ITC judge rules that Apple doesn't infringe Samsung patents

The administrative law judge strikes down Samsung claims on four patents, declines to rule on four more

An administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Apple does not infringe four computing and mobile patents held by Samsung.

Administrative Law Judge James Gildea, in a preliminary ruling issued today, found that Apple has not infringed Samsung patents related to mobile communication devices, portable music, and data processing devices and tablet computers. Gildea also ruled that, for four other Samsung patents, a U.S. industry does not exist, suggesting that the ITC does not have jurisdiction to rule on those patents.

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The ITC will release a detailed explanation of Gildea's ruling at a later date.

Samsung filed the so-called section 337 complaint against Apple in June 2011, one of several patent complaints the two companies have filed against each other in recent years. Samsung had accused Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad of violating its patents. Samsung had asked the ITC to bar Apple from importing those products into the U.S.

In a separate case mainly involving design patents, a California jury in August awarded Apple more than $1 billion after finding that Samsung had infringed several Apple patents. The same jury dismissed Samsung's counterclaims that Apple violated Samsung patents, including some relating to network technologies.

A Samsung representative said the company was "confident" the ITC would overrule the judge's ruling on appeal. Apple declined to comment.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for the IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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