ITC judge: Samsung infringes on Apple touchscreen and design patents

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In an initial determination filing on Wednesday, U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender found Samsung in violation of four Apple patents, including IP for touchscreen technology co-invented by late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

Judge Pender found that Samsung infringed on three Apple utility patents and one design patent, meaning the Galaxy maker might face an import ban if the the six-member Commission agrees with the ruling in a final determination, reports Bloomberg.

The decision is the result of Apple's ITC complaint from July 2011, in which the company filed a countersuit against Samsung's own complaint that requested an investigation of iPhone, iPad and iPod products alleged to be in violation of certain wireless patents.

Apple later streamlined its case in May, dropping a physical push button patent and 15 claims regarding plug-in detection and multitouch patents.

As noted by CNET, the ITC's initial decision was scheduled to be handed down last week, but

Wednesday's preliminary decision comes after an unsuccessful September ITC complaint from Samsung, which alleged certain Apple products infringed on four of the Korean electronics maker's patents. Like Judge Pender's ruling, the September decision must undergo a final review by the Commission.