In a preliminary move, a federal judge has denied Samsung's request for a ban on imports of the iPhone, iPad and iPod.
It's another setback for Samsung in a globe-spanning legal battle, where each company is accusing the other of violating its patents.
A judge at the International Trade Commission in Washington ruled Friday that Apple doesn't violate four Samsung patents. The judge also found that the patents don't apply to any domestic industry. That will make it harder for Samsung to press the case before the full Commission, says patent litigation expert Florian Mueller.
Three weeks ago, a jury in California ruled that Samsung owes Apple $1.05 billion for violating patents on features of the iPhone and iPad.
Apple started taking orders for its new iPhone on Friday.