US judge finds in favour of Apple in trade panel complaint against Samsung

In a preliminary decision issued this week, a US trade panel judge has found that Samsung violated Apple-held patents to design and create some of its smartphones and tablets.

The decision is related to a complaint filed by Apple last year accusing the South Korean electronics giant of infringing its patents in the development of the Galaxy tablet and the Captivate, Transform and Fascinate range of smartphones.

Judge Thomas Pender found that Samsung violated four of six patents listed by Apple in the case. A seventh patent was dropped from the complaint during litigation. The patents in question relate to touchscreen technology and to mobile imaging.

It will be up to the International Trade Commission to decide whether to accept Judge Pender’s ruling. Apple has thus far fared successfully in the US, but has been met with losses in its global efforts. The Cupertino, California-based firm has taken on Samsung and other mobile manufacturers in some 10 countries around the world, with mixed success.

Yesterday, a Dutch court found that Samsung did not violate Apple patents protecting multi-touch gestures and techniques in the development of some of its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. British and German courts have issued similar rulings over the past few months.

Earlier this year, a US jury handed Apple a massive victory over Samsung in a landmark case, ordering the South Korean firm to pay $1.05 billion (£653 million) in damages over complaints it copied features in Apple’s iPhone and iPad.