ITC issues import and sales ban on select Samsung devices

by: Kyle WiggersAugust 9, 2013


You could be forgiven for assuming Samsung was clear of any patent wrongdoing Apple’s massive 2012 court win, but it looks like the Korea-based electronics manufacturer isn’t out of the woods quite yet. The International Trade Commission today found Samsung guilty of infringing Apple design patents covering software scrolling behavior and headphone jack capability. Accordingly, the panel of judges issued a ruling banning a number Samsung devices from import, including Android smartphones (Galaxy S and Continuum) and tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy 10.1). A full list of devices restricted from sale is expected later today.

The ITC’s ban is a victory for Apple, but an arguably hollow one. Most of the banned devices were released more than two years ago, and many have been discontinued. Additionally, the scope of Samsung’s infringement has been narrowed: the ITC disagreed with a prior judgment, ruling that the company was not guilty of four patents, most of which dealt with hardware aesthetics and basic software functionality. That being said, the decision does set a precedent, and could factor into future lawsuits Apple may decide to bring against rival smartphone makers.

The ban on select Samsung devices will go into effect after a period of executive review. President Obama has, once again, the option to veto the ITC’s decision, but he’s unlikely to do so; the patents in question are, unlike in the case of the Apple product ban, of a design nature, and not standard-essential. Should the order proceed, Samsung and its U.S. subsidiaries have a period of 60 days in which to cease the sale and import of affected devices. After that, we can only hope that the smartphone patent wars ratchet down a notch

  • $$$Obama$$$

    of course Obama won’t ban samsung— Apple slap him with $$$ afterall

  • PuzzledObserver

    Apple to Obama administration: Cancel the ITC ban against me. Then force the ITC to ban Samsung on some bogus patents. When done I will give each of your employees a free iPhone cases.

    Obama: take care, there are a lot of people in my administration involved. Do you have a few hundred cases?

    Apple: Yes, we will try our best.

    Obama: Ok then, lets screw the competitions.

    • Alex Alexander

      Apple: Yes, we are making a lot of cases in China, we’ll bring some mores.

  • RaptorOO7

    Obama’s team won’t do squat for Samsung, they will claim its the difference between FRAND vs non-FRAND patents. Bottom line Obama’s team has coin from Apple and their is no way they will get around that.

  • Darktanone

    It’s been a long time coming, but finally, a sensible decision!

  • Terry

    For the Obama comments, I think it’s more simple than this. Apple is an American company and Samsung is not.

    • Ruz

      Its like differentiating between the black and the white.. loser

      • icorrupted

        is there something wrong with it?
        i guess you are black. that’s the way you feel it.

        • Ruz

          ??? why did u feel bad?

  • Balvinder Makkar

    As obama said banning the apple product will hamper the economy and limits the customer choice…now what is this, he will never vetoes this
    corrupt government simply favoring US company.

    • RaptorOO7

      ObmApple needs to put up, shut up and provide the same level of consumer protection and not allow this to hamper the economy and consumer choice, but we all know that won’t happen.

      • Balvinder Makkar

        exactly he should stop being biased…
        atleast samsung patents are FRAND…their rectangular shape patents sounds crap should be straight away invalidated
        thank god apple didnt patented washroom

    • Not Sure

      Not sure what the exact patents are, but doesn’t the software scrolling be targeted at Google, and hasn’t the headphone jack existed since the beginning of electronic audio?

    • Spasmodacular

      Apple is hardly a US company. It just sells here. All of it’s profits go overseas so they can cheat on their taxes as do it’s jobs.

    • jeffrey

      probably felt that banning of the product will significantly impact nsa tracking.

  • Ruz

    This is unfair

  • peter

    damn ruling: americans are so can an asian win on their land. racist…

    • Thanh Nguyen

      Rather- how can anyone win against Apple? Apple has more money than the American government- that’s how much power they wield.

  • peter


  • Rushan

    I thought ‘Merica’ is a democratic country

    • Thanh Nguyen

      Specifically, it’s a democratic republic- meaning people have a say in who leads the government, not what policies or actions they take.

      While we’re on it, America is a capitalistic nation as well- meaning, there isn’t actually free trade/free market, just a close approximation of it.

      • Bryan Z

        Finally someone who knows what he is talking about… Samsung is lucky they use Android (another American Company)

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    I really don’t like to mix politics with anything that I like… but, this is crap.

  • Locutus

    Will Obama come to Samsungs rescue? I think not.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Park Geun-hye should veto it.

  • John

    This Week in Tech #1 – Moto X as well as the LG G2 unveiled

  • HASA

    how come samsung always get infringed!? -_-

  • You Are All Dust in The Wind!

    @AndyBudhu Apple started this whole mess back in 2011. They sued Samsung for different patent infringements. 

    “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” – Steve Jobs

    Android is a “stolen product” says Steve/Apple. What about the computer mouse? What about the GUI? Both of these were developed by Xerox and taken by Apple. There are many more examples, but those are two of the most notable as they are both used everyday by millions of people.

    “I mean Picasso had a saying he said good artists copy great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” – Steve Jobs

  • obamapple

    Samsung has more factories in the US than crapple creating more jobs, paying more taxes, etc…fuck obama!
    oh wait is this being picked up by the NSA ?

  • Christopher Linnett

    I love the argument that its a standards essential…. So because apple can’t come up with its own tech to do the job, it copies samsung and gets away with it because without the samsung tech. it is nothing. yet, situation reversed. software scrolling and headphone jack……. these are two things every smartphone on the planet has and apple is claiming to own them, it wasn’t even first to have them….. sorry to rant, just after every article i read, i hate apple more and more