The US International Trade Commission said yesterday it will investigate complaints by Ericsson and its Swedish parent company that Samsung and two of its US companies violated patents used its mobile handsets.

Ericsson and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson filed a complaint against Samsung's Korean parent company, Samsung Telecommunications America and Samsung Electronics America, alleging that Samsung's importation of its patented mobile phones and components violated US law, according to an ITC statement.

The ITC set no timetable for the investigation, but said it would establish a target date for the completion of the investigation to within 45 days of its institution.

Ericsson filed suit against Samsung in a Texas court on 2 August, alleging that Samsung is infringing on its patents for mobile handsets and some of their components. The case is part of legal action taken by the Swedish company against its Korean rival and former partner since February, after the two failed to renew a 2002 licencing arrangement for patented technology. The deal expired at the end of 2005.