A US trade panel judge, in a preliminary ruling, said that South Korean company Samsung Electronics has infringed four of Apple patents to make its smartphones and tablets.
Last year, the iPhone maker had filed a complaint accusing the South Korean firm of infringing its patents in making its Captivate, Transform and Fascinate smartphones, and the Galaxy Tablet.
US International Trade Commission (ITC) Judge Thomas Pender said Samsung infringed four patents, including one for the front face of the iPhone and one for touch-screen technology co- invented by Steve Jobs.
The verdict will be reviewed by a full ITC in February 2013 which will either uphold or reject the ruling.
In addition, the ruling can block imports of Samsung’s products into the US if it finds that South Korean firm infringed on Apple patents.
The latest verdict is another win for Apple which in August this year had won about $1.051bn in a patent suit, claimed to be one of the biggest patent cases in decades, against Samsung.
Apple had earlier scored major victories against Samsung, which led to banning of the sale of Samsung tablets in Germany and also its three latest Galaxy smartphone models in the Netherlands.
Earlier this month, Apple had lost its patent case against Samsung in London’s Court of Appeal after a judge ruled that the Galaxy tablet does not infringe the iPad’s design.
Since April 2011, both the companies filed about 30 lawsuits against each other in at least 12 courts, nine countries, and four continents which involve smartphones and tablet patents.