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ITC to review Apple patent complaint against Samsung

Apple's iPhone (L) and Samsung Galaxy Note are displayed at a shop in Tokyo August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Apple's iPhone (L) and Samsung Galaxy Note are displayed at a shop in Tokyo August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. trade panel that specializes in patent disputes will review a potentially key decision in the patent fight between Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc over smartphones and tablets.

The panel, the International Trade Commission, also sent part of the dispute back to judge, who ruled in October that Samsung, the world's top maker of smartphones, infringed four Apple patents but did not violate two others.

The full commission said on Wednesday it would review the judge's decision, and asked the agency judge to take a second look at portions of two patents where he had found that Samsung infringed.

One of the patents in question allows the use of a headset with the smartphone while the other allows the device to show an image on a screen with a second, translucent image over it.

Apple had filed a complaint in mid-2011, accusing Samsung of infringing its patents in making its Captivate, Transform and Fascinate smartphones, as well as the Galaxy Tablet.

Apple is waging war on several fronts against Google, whose Android software powers many of Samsung's devices. The battles between Apple and Samsung have taken place in some 10 countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry.

The case at the International Trade Commission is No. 337-796.

(Reporting By Diane Bartz; Editing by Bernard Orr and Steve Orlofsky)

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