An administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has ruled that Apple does not infringe four computing and mobile patents held by Samsung.
Administrative Law Judge James Gildea, in a preliminary ruling issued Friday, found that Apple has not infringed Samsung patents related to mobile communication devices, portable music and data processing devices and tablet computers. Gildea also ruled that for four other Samsung patents, a U.S. industry does not exist, suggesting that the USITC does not have jurisdiction to rule on those patents.
The USITC will release a detailed explanation of Gildea's ruling at a later date.
Samsung filed the so-called section 337 complaint against Apple in June 2011, one of several patent complaints the two companies have filed against each other in recent years. In August, a California jury awarded Apple more than US$1 billion after finding that Samsung had infringed several Apple patents.
Samsung remains confident that the full trade commission "will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position that Apple must be held accountable for free-riding on our technological innovations," a spokeswoman said.
Representatives of Apple did not reply to an email seeking comment.
Samsung had accused Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad of violating its patents. Samsung had asked the USITC to bar Apple from importing those products into the U.S.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is [email protected]