ITC targets August for end to Apple-Samsung patent investigation

An initial decision in the case will come before April 1 and could see an import ban on some Samsung phones

The U.S. International Trade Commission aims to wrap up its investigation into a patent battle between Apple and Samsung by August this year, it said Tuesday.

The investigation is part of a multicountry fight between the two companies, which are the largest in the global smartphone market.

Apple has accused Samsung of infringing on various patents to do with the design and style of phone handsets and icons. In July 2011 the battle landed at the ITC when Apple asked the court to ban the import of certain Samsung cellphones because they infringed on its patents.

The judge hearing the case, Thomas Bender, said Tuesday he is extending the target date for the end of the investigation to Aug. 1, which means an initial determination is due no later than April 1.

Once the initial judgment is published, each party will have a chance to petition the court to review the decision. If no motions are received from either party, the initial determination will become the final ruling.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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