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ITC delays final decision in Apple vs. Samsung patent war

The U.S. International Trade Commission says its ruling, which could result in a ban of some Samsung devices in the U.S., will come next week.

The U.S. International Trade Commission needs a little more time to make a final decision on whether or not Samsung infringed on Apple's patents.

In a note Thursday evening, the ITC said it would deliver that decision by Friday, August 9.

That's the same day the two companies head to court for oral arguments on permanent injunctions from the trial that wrapped up last August. In that case, a jury ruled Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's intellectual property.

Barring further delays, next week's ruling will be final. It will come more than nine months after the group's initial determination, which said Samsung infringed on four of Apple's patents across a handful of its mobile devices. That list includes Samsung's Galaxy S2 smartphone, as well as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

The delayed decision also will come after this weekend's deadline for President Barack Obama to veto a separate, June ruling by the ITC that found Apple to infringe on Samsung's cellular technology. That decision affects the importation and sale of certain iPhones prior to 2011's iPhone 4S, along with 3G models of the first- and second-generation iPad. All have been replaced by newer models, though Apple and its carrier partner AT&T still sell the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

The last time a U.S. president vetoed an ITC decision was Ronald Reagan in 1987. That case also involved tech companies including Sharp, Toshiba, NEC, and Samsung, and was filed by Texas Instruments. Though instead of wireless technology or user interface features, the focus was on memory chips.

Technology companies have increasingly turned to the ITC to settle their disputes. Companies can pursue an ITC case in parallel with civil lawsuits, and the threat of an embargo on products typically forces them to settle more quickly. Apple and Samsung have already held such talks, though haven't come to a deal that would end litigation and likely result in a broad cross-licensing patent deal.

(Decision via Foss Patents)