Apple loses US panel ruling in Samsung dispute

Apple has lost a ruling by a US trade panel in its on-going patent dispute with rival technology firm Samsung.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Apple infringed a Samsung patent, which means older models of the iPad and iPhone cannot be sold in the US, and are banned.

The patent that was infringed refers to 3G wireless technology and the ability to transmit multiple services correctly and at the same time.

Apple plans to appeal the ruling. The ruling may be reversed by a US presidential order within 60 days.

This latest ruling overturned an earlier decision made by ITC Judge James Gildea, who ruled in September that Apple did not violate the patents in the case, which was filed nearly three years ago.

In a statement, Samsung said: “We believe the ITC’s final determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung‘s technological innovations.”

The ITC ordered a halt on all imports and sales of AT&T models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. Some of those devices are no longer on sale in the US.

President Obama could overturn the import ban, as the review is now passed to him, although it is thought it would be a rare occurrence.

The case is the latest in on-going litigation between the two electronics company, who have been locked in legal battles across 10 countries.

Analysts state Apple is looking to restrict the growth of Google’s Android system, which is currently used on Samsung devices.

In US federal court last year, Samsung was ordered to pay more than $1bn for patent infringement, which was later reduce to $598.9m.

Samsung is currently the world’s largest maker of smartphone, and analysts estimate it outsold Apple by nearly two to one in the first three months of the year. However, Apple’s smartphone business is more profitable.

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