ITC to Investigate Apple Patent Complaint Against Samsung

The U.S. International Trade Commission announced on Tuesday that it will investigate a patent infringement claim Apple filed against Samsung. Assuming the ITC rules in favor of Apple, it could lead to an import ban on Samsung’s Android-based smartphones and tablet devices.

ITC Investigating Apple patent complaint against SamsungITC agrees to investigate Apple’s patent complaint against Samsung

Apple filed its complaint against Samsung in early July as part of its patent infringement case against the company. Both companies have been hitting each other with patent infringement lawsuits related to their mobile devices. In Apple’s case, it claims Samsung’s Galaxy and Galaxy Tab products use patent protected technology it owns, and Samsung claims the iPhone and iPad infringe on its patent portfolio.

Agreeing to investigate Apple’s complaint is standard procedure in cases like this, and comes only days after the agency agreed to investigate Samsung’s infringement case against Apple.

The investigations could take upwards of 18 months, and most likely will lead to appeals from both sides, as well. The ITC says that even though it has agreed to investigate the complaint, it “has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.”

Apple and Samsung have not commented on the ITC’s announcement.