Belfast Telegraph

Samsung setback as Obama overrules Apple import ban

Barack Obama's trade representative has vetoed an import ban on some Apple iPads and older iPhones, in a setback to rival South Korean electronics company Samsung.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman overruled a June decision by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which had banned imports of the iPhone 4 and some of the iPad 2.

The commission ruled that the Chinese-made Apple devices violated a patent held by Samsung and could not be imported. But the ban never went into effect, because the Obama administration had 60 days to decide if it would uphold the commission.

President Obama is against import bans on the basis of the type of patent at issue in the Samsung case. The White House has recommended that Congress limit the ITC's ability to impose import bans in these cases.

Samsung and Apple are in a global legal battle over smartphones. Apple argues Samsung's Android phones copy vital iPhone features and Samsung is fighting back with its own complaints.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said the company applauded the administration "for standing up for innovation". A message seeking comment from Samsung was not returned.

Last year, a federal court ruled that Samsung owed Apple $1bn in damages for infringing on non-essential Apple patents. But the judge refused to impose an import ban on Samsung phones and later struck $450m dollars from the verdict, saying the jurors miscalculated.

The case is set for a rematch in the appeal court.

Belfast Telegraph

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