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U.S. ends probe of Samsung Electronics' use of essential patents

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department will close its investigation into Samsung Electronics' use of a special class of essential patents to attack rivals, but said it would continue to monitor related patent litigation.

Samsung had filed a complaint against Apple Inc. at the U.S. International Trade Commission and won an order banning the sale of some Apple products in the United States. That order was overturned in 2013, rendering the Justice Department investigation unnecessary, the department said on Friday.

Samsung and Apple have been battling each other in courts in more than 10 countries, as they vie for market share in the lucrative smartphone market.

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