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ITC Rules Against Sharp In Samsung Patent Spat

Washington — The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Wednesday issued an exclusion order against Sharp after it was found to have violated an LCD technology patent held by Samsung Electronics.

The order blocks Sharp from importing some LCD TVs and computer monitors it manufactures using the allegedly infringing technology.

By law, President Obama has a 60-day period in which to review and overrule the decision if he sees fit to do so. Sharp said it may also appeal the ruling in court.

Samsung originally filed its complaint against Sharp last December, claiming that some Sharp-made LCD TVs violated some of its patents. The ITC Wednesday upheld an administrative law judge’s determination of violation on one of those claims (patent 344) and rejected another (patent 311).

A Sharp spokesperson told TWICE Thursday that the company ‘’was prepared for this outcome. Sharp knew it was in the works and has already produced new Sharp Aquos LCD TVs and Sharp branded LCD TVs with technology that is not affected by the ruling. There really will be no impact to our retail business and consumers as a result of the decision. Sharp LCD TVs will continue to be available in the U.S.”

Sharp said there are no longer any Sharp or Sharp Aquos LCD TVs on the market with the allegedly infringing technology.

Earlier this month an administrative law judge for the ITC ruled that Samsung had violated four of Sharp’s patents on LCD technology, and recommended the ITC ban the importation of infringing Samsung TVs and monitors.

The full commission still must rule on that recommendation.

Samsung declined to comment on the story.