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U.S. trade body to make final ruling on Samsung, Apple patent suit

The final ruling in a patent suit between South Korea's Samsung Electronics and the U.S.' Apple will likely be made in August, the South Korean company said Wednesday, buying Samsung a significant amount of time to prepare for a possible ban on shipments of its products to the U.S.

According to officials from Samsung, the final decision by the U.S.' International Trade Commission will be made Aug. 1, following its preliminary decision on April 1. 

The upcoming reviews will decide whether to uphold an earlier ruling by ITC's administrative law judge Thomas Pender that stated Samsung's mobile devices infringed one design patent and three utility patents held by Apple.

The ITC is an independent federal agency -- working with the Department of Commerce -- that determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries and directs actions against unfair trade practices, such as subsidies, dumping, and infringements of patents, trademarks and copyrights.

If the final decision by the ITC's full panel upholds the earlier ruling by Judge Pender, it could lead to an import ban on several Samsung smartphones and tablet PCs, though the case does not involve Samsung's flagship Galaxy S3  and Galaxy Note 2 devices.

Still, the review schedule means the South Korean company will have at least until August to prepare for a possible import ban. Experts said an ITC decision must also be accepted by the U.S. president within a 60-day period following its final ruling. (Yonhap News)