May 14, 2014 / 3:48 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. court refuses to revive Samsung patent case against Apple

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with an Apple Inc logo as they pose with a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, May 17, 2013.Dado Ruvic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a decision by the International Trade Commission that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) was innocent of violating three patents owned by Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) to make its iPhones and iPads.

Apple and Samsung have been litigating around the world for three years, each accusing the other of infringing patents in making smartphones and other mobile devices. Neither side has scored a crippling sales ban.

The ITC had said in June 2013 that Apple did not infringe on the Samsung patents. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that decision on Wednesday but did not explain its reasoning.

Samsung Electronics declined to comment on the case. Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

In the case, the ITC had found in June 2013 that Apple infringed on one Samsung patent, not one ruled on Wednesday, and ordered the Apple iPods and iPads which used that technology be banned from importation into the United States.

But the ban was overturned by the Obama administration because the infringed patent was a special kind of patent called a standard essential patent. An SEP ensures that technology made by different companies can communicate.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Ros Krasny and Meredith Mazzilli

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