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Apple wins again: Obama administration doesn’t veto ITC import ban against Samsung

The Obama administration did not veto an ITC import ban won by Apple against certain Samsung mobile devices. Read on for more details.
October 8, 2013
Apple iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy S4 aa 13

An import ban obtained by Apple in a complaint against Samsung with the International Trade Commission is in effect, as the Obama administration has not vetoed it.

“After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies, and information from interested parties, I have decided to allow” the import ban to proceed, Obama’s designee, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, said in a statement today.

Froman further said that the decision has nothing to do with the nationality of the two companies.

Apple won the import ban back in August, although it did not immediately enter into effect. Just like Apple in a previous case, Samsung had 60 days of extra waiting for the White House to issue a ruling on the matter.

In a previous case won by Samsung against Apple at the ITC, the Obama administration decided to veto the import ban against older iPhone and iPad models, a first veto in such cases since 1987. This also happened in August, a few days before ITC ruled against Samsung in Apple’s complaint.

It’s worth noting that even if Samsung scored a win with the ITC at the time, the patents in question were standards-essentials, which is the reason why the Obama administration vetoed the import ban.

Now, it’s not clear what Android devices produced by the South Korean device maker will be affected by the upheld ITC ruling, although we’re mostly looking at older device that don’t have workarounds in place to avoid infringing on Apple’s patents – Samsung has been found in violation of two Apple patents, with deal with “scrolling behavior and a device’s ability to detect when headphones are plugged in.”

Obviously, Samsung is not happy with the Obama administration’s decision not to veto the ban:

We are disappointed by the US Trade Representative’s decision to allow the exclusion order issued by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). It will serve only to reduce competition and limit choice for the American consumer.

The complex legal battle between Apple and Samsung doesn’t end here though, as the two giants are fighting each other in multiple other lawsuits.