Trade panel to probe Samsung lawsuit against Apple
* Samsung says iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch infringe
* Samsung says five patents at issue
WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) - A trade panel that hears patent disputes has agreed to investigate Samsung Electronics Co's (005930.KS) complaint that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) infringed its patented technology.
Samsung in June accused Apple of infringing five patents to make some iPads, the iPod Touch and iPhones, according to a complaint filed with the International Trade Commission.
Samsung asked that Apple's infringing products be barred from importation into the United States.
Apple and Samsung are fighting over patents in courts around the world, even though Samsung is one of Apple's suppliers. [nN1E7671XU]
Samsung makes parts central to Apple's mobile devices, but Apple in April accused the South Korean company of "slavishly" copying the iPad and iPhone to make its Galaxy devices. Samsung's Galaxy is seen as among the biggest challengers of Apple's mobile devices.
Apple sued Samsung in April in a San Jose, California, federal court, saying the Galaxy lineup infringed on its mobile technology patents. Samsung shot back with claims of its own.
Both have asked the ITC to block imports of the other's devices.
The trade panel is a popular venue for patent litigation because its docket moves fairly quickly and because the threat of an import ban is a strong incentive to settle. (Reporting by Diane Bartz. Editing by Robert MacMillan)
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