Tuesday, October 08, 2013

President Obama declines to veto ITC order banning certain older Samsung devices

Samsung lobbied for the same type of veto that Apple got earlier, but unlike the earlier ITC ban on certain iDevices, U.S. President Barack Obama did not intervene to prevent the same from happening to a number of Samsung devices. Obama had 60 days to do so, and that expired on Tuesday, The Verge reported.

In August, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a ruling that banned the import of certain older Samsung smartphones and tablets for violating two of Apple's patents, one which covered scrolling behavior and a second that covered a device's ability to detect when headphones are plugged in.

However, the ITC found that several other Apple patents were not infringed upon by Samsung products.

The ruling itself did not specify which Samsung products infringed, but it has been determined that the list includes older products such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy S 4G, and the Fascinate (Verizon's Galaxy S model) do infringe.

Apple faced a similar deadline, with the 60 days expiring in August, but at that time President Obama opted to veto the ban. The major difference between the two incidents seems to be that the Apple ban stemmed from Apple having infringed upon standards-essential (FRAND) patents owned by Samsung, rather than feature patents.

The proposed Apple ban involved older iPad models and the iPhone 4.

After Obama overturned the ITC's ban of Apple products, South Korea called the action "protectionism." That "opinion" was doubled down on by Samsung in its lobbying effort, which included the following text:
The world is watching how Samsung is treated by the United States in this “smartphone war” and the Administration has a significant interest in avoiding the perception of favoritism and protectionism toward U.S. companies. Samsung requests nothing more than equal and fair treatment in this, and future investigations.

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