U.S. ITC judge says Samsung infringed Apple patents

Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:59pm EDT
 
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By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of smartphones, infringed Apple patents to make its smartphones and tablets, a U.S. trade panel judge said in a preliminary decision issued on Wednesday.

Apple had filed a complaint in mid-2011, accusing Samsung of infringing its patents in making its Captivate, Transform and Fascinate smartphones, as well as the Galaxy Tablet.

Judge Thomas Pender said that Samsung infringed four Apple patents but did not violate two others listed in the complaint. There had been seven listed initially, but one was dropped during litigation.

The full International Trade Commission will decide in February whether to uphold or reject the judge's decision.

Samsung was found to infringe an Apple patent that helps the touchscreen interpret whether the user wants, for example, to scroll up and down or switch between applications. It was also found to have infringed a patent that allows the device to show an image on a screen with a second, translucent image over it.

Apple is waging war on several fronts against Google, whose Android software powers many of Samsung's devices. The battles between Apple and Samsung have taken place in some 10 countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry.

Apple has asked a federal court in California and the ITC to permanently ban Samsung products that infringe Apple patents. Neither the judge nor the ITC has ruled on the issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Dutch court ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apple patents by using certain multi-touch techniques on some of the Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers.   Continued...

 
A man leaves a store selling Samsung Galaxy smartphones in Seoul August 26, 2012. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won