ITC Ban on Older Samsung Mobile Devices Allowed to Stand

After the International Trade Commission issued a ban against some Samsung products in the U.S., the company hoped that President Obama would veto the ban. Unfortunately for Samsung, Obama decided against vetoing the ban, allowing it to go into effect Tuesday.

The ban -- which targets older Samsung smartphones and tablets, many of which are no longer imported -- will result in any remaining products taken off store shelves and imports of those devices being stopped. The ITC issued the ban after finding Samsung violated multiple patent laws with some of its most popular devices.

According to the ITC, most of the Samsung products that were originally accused of patent infringement are no longer sold in the U.S, and Samsung has "designed around" the patent restrictions since then on newer products, mostly with ITC approval.

Presidential Approval

A number of analysts expected the president to shoot down the ban before it went into effect, making the decision Tuesday a surprise. Not only is the ban going into effect shortly, but Samsung has no way of fighting it since the ban is irreversible.

Once again, the ban is likely to bring into discussion the standard essential patents that allowed the ITC to go after Samsung in the first place. Standard essential patents include any patent that is necessary for other companies to use in their products and are therefore not unique.

Many antitrust authorities have opposed bans like this one simply because they believe standard essential patent infringement should only result in fines or license payments. The patents in question belong to Apple, which has fought against Samsung numerous times in a back-and-forth patent battle in courts around the world.

Michael Froman, Obama's U.S. trade representative presiding over the Samsung case, said he carefully considered a veto before deciding against it and siding with the ITC.

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