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U.S. Trade Body Rules Apple Violated Samsung Patents

A U.S. trade agency says Apple infringed on its Asian rival Samsung's patent in its manufacture of some older models of the iPhone and iPad.

Bloomberg reports on the order from the U.S. International Trade Commission: "It's the first patent ruling against Apple in the U.S. that affects product sales, covering models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G made for AT&T Inc."

Reuters notes that the ITC panel "issued a limited import ban and a cease-and-desist order for AT&T models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G."

President Obama has 60 days to overturn the order. An Apple spokeswoman told the AllThingsD website that the company was "disappointed" with the decision and planned to appeal.

"Today's decision has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States," she told AllThingsD. "Samsung is using a strategy which has been rejected by courts and regulators around the world. They've admitted that it's against the interests of consumers in Europe and elsewhere, yet here in the United States Samsung continues to try to block the sale of Apple products by using patents they agreed to license to anyone for a reasonable fee."

A Samsung statement to the website praised the ITC's decision.

As NPR's Steve Henn reports for our Newscast Unit, the two technology giants have been battling in courts all over the globe.

"Last summer Apple won a $1 billion jury verdict against Samsung after accusing the Korean electronics giant of 'slavishly copying its designs' of smartphones and tablets," Steve says.

In March, the judge overseeing the patent case decided to throw out about half of those damages.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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