ITC expected to rule on Samsung sales ban next week

The US trade body says it will complete its investigation of alleged patent infringements on Aug. 9

The United States International Trade Commission expects to complete its investigation into allegations of patent infringement between Apple and Samsung at the end of next week, it said Thursday.

The dispute has been in front of the ITC since August 2011 and has Apple seeking a ban on the importation and sale of certain Samsung smartphones in the U.S. It alleges infringement of seven patents.

In late December 2012, Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender recommended a U.S. import ban for Samsung's TransformAcclaim, Indulge and Intercept smartphones because of alleged infringements of four of the Apple patents. But less than a month later, the ITC said it had decided to review the decision.

Should the ITC confirm its recommendation of a sales ban, it will require approval by the U.S. president within 60 days for it to go into effect.

The case before the ITC is one of several patent infringement disputes between Apple and Samsung that have played out in several countries. Many have been completed, but one of the highest-profile cases is still continuing in Silicon Valley.

In that case, a jury found Samsung guilty of patent infringement in August last year. The company was hit with a fine of more than US$1 billion, but that has subsequently been reduced. The two companies are still battling over the verdict and fine in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

Part of the case has landed in the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. Both companies are due to present arguments on Aug. 9 regarding the San Jose court's refusal to grant a permanent injunction on several models of Samsung smartphones as a result of the case.

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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