By Cho Mu-hyun
Samsung Electronics has successfully persuaded a U.S. trade panel to rethink its judgment that more than a dozen of its mobile phones and smartphones violated Apple patents.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which specializes in patent disputes, announced Thursday that it has accepted the Korean technology giant's request to review the preliminary ruling made by agency judge Thomas Pender last October that Samsung infringed on four Apple patents. Pender will now review the case with regards to two of the four disputed patents.
The review means that the final decision, originally scheduled for March 27, will be pushed back, according to Samsung officials.
Earlier this month, the ITC deferred the review date to Thursday from Jan. 10 following a joint statement by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that warned against sales bans for what they regard as essential patents governed by competition laws.
Pender had recommended the ITC order a ban on the U.S. imports of Samsung devices found to infringe on Apple patents and a bond set at 88 percent of the value of all of the Korean firm's mobile phones sold during the 60-day presidential review period. U.S. laws require President Barack Obama to review such exclusion orders.
Industry observers believe that the ITC's decision to review the decision is due to conflicting rulings from different government agencies. The Patent Office had tentatively invalidated patents that the commission deemed valid.
Apple has claimed Samsung infringed on one design patent and three software ones. The disputed Samsung products are the Galaxy S and Galaxy Nexus but not newer devices like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II that were recently introduced to the market.
The ITC is also reviewing an initial determination that cleared Apple of infringing on Samsung's wireless technology patents, after the Korean company appealed.
The two biggest shippers of smartphones in the world are at loggerheads in courts across the globe as they fight for control of the lucrative market.
Last August, a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion from Samsung in a California court although the presiding judge is yet to make a final ruling on monetary damages.