WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Apple did not violate patents owned by Samsung Electronics in making the iPod touch, iPhones and iPads, a judge at the International Trade Commission said in a preliminary ruling on Friday.
Apple and Samsung have taken their bruising patent disputes to some 10 countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry. Apple won a landmark victory last month after a U.S. jury found the South Korean firm had copied key features of the iPhone and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages.
ITC Judge James Gildea said on Friday that Apple did not violate the four patents in the case. Samsung had accused Apple of infringement in a complaint filed in mid-2011. It asked for the infringing products to be banned from sale in the United States.
The full commission is due to decide whether to uphold or overturn its internal judge's decision in January.
The case at the International Trade Commission is No. 337-794.
(Reporting By Diane Bartz; editing by Carol Bishopric)