Samsung/Apple infringement ruling delayed

If an earlier decision is upheld, the sales of some Apple products will be banned in the US.

Samsung's new Galaxy S4 is seen during its unveiling on March 14, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. PictureL AFP

WASHINGTON - The US International Trade Commission said on Thursday it would delay a decision on whether some mobile phones and tablets made by Samsung infringe on Apple's patents.

The decision had been expected on Thursday but was put off until 9 August.

No reason was given for the delay.

The ITC is a popular venue for patent infringement lawsuits since it has the power to ban the importation of devices that infringe on patents.

The delay comes as the same companies - which are waging legal battles in some 10 countries - await a decision from the Obama administration on whether to stick with an ITC decision finding that some Apple devices infringe a Samsung patent. That decision is now due.

The ITC ruled on June 4 that some older iPad and iPhone models made to use service provider AT&T's network infringed on a Samsung patent that allows the ability of devices to transmit multiple services simultaneously and correctly through 3G wireless technologies.

If the decision is upheld, the import or sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G distributed by AT&T would be banned in the United States.

E-BOOK PRICE-FIXING

Meanwhile, the US has proposed a remedy for Apple e-book price-fixing, citing that Apple deserves a five-year ban from entering anti-competitive e-book distribution contracts, and should also end its business arrangements with five major publishers with which it conspired to raise e-book prices, federal and state regulators said on Friday.

The US Department of Justice and 33 US states and territories proposed those changes and others after a federal judge last month found in a civil antitrust case that Apple conspired with the publishers to raise e-book prices.

Regulators accused Apple of conspiring to undercut Amazon's e-book dominance, causing some e-book prices to rise.