By Lee Minji
SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to review a judge's ruling that could potentially lead to an import ban on several Samsung Electronics Co. products on rival Apple Inc.'s home turf.
In a decision made on Wednesday in Washington, the ITC said it would review the preliminary ruling that found Samsung smartphones and tablet PCs infringed upon four patents held by the iPhone maker.
In October, ITC Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender ruled that Samsung mobile devices infringed one design patent and three utility patents on touch screen responses and screen image functions. The case does not involve Samsung's flagship Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 devices.
If approved by the agency's full commission, the preliminary ruling could lead to an import ban of concerned products. While a final decision for the case was set for March 27, it is likely to be rescheduled due to the review.
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.
Samsung pinned hopes on the trade agency's decision to review the case.
"We remain confident that the full commission will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position," the company said in an e-mailed statement.
The latest ruling is part of an ongoing patent battle between the two tech giants to dominate the lucrative smartphone market. Samsung commanded 28 percent of the global smartphone market in 2012, surpassing Apple's 20 percent stake, according to market researcher IHS iSuppli.
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