US sides with Apple; some Samsung Android devices banned

US sides with Apple; some Samsung Android devices banned

Summary: The US wouldn't uphold a ban on the import of some older versions of Apple iPhone and iPad, but it had no such qualms about banning some older Samsung Android smartphones and tablets from the US market.


The Apple/Samsung patent war keeps grinding on. In the latest battle, Samsung's request that it be allowed to continue to ship some older Android devices to the US market was rejected by the Obama administration.

In the latest legal battle between Samsung Android and Apple iOS, Apple emerged the winner.

As reported by Bloomberg, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement, “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."

The banned devices are those that have been found to violate two of Apple's patents. These are:

  • US Patent No. 7,479,949, aka the ’949 patent; affects claims 1, 4-6, 10, and 17-20): Concerns touch commands on touch-screen devices.

  • US Patent No. 7,912,501, aka the ’501 patent; affects claims 1-4 and 8): Concerns input and output detection for microphone and headphone jacks.

It's not clear which Samsung smartphones and tablets will be banned. Newer Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Note 3 or Note 10.1, will not be banned.

Normally, the executive branch of government doesn't veto decisions by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). However, in a rare move, the government had vetoed the ITC's ban of some older iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G devices following Apple's loss to Samsung in another patent infringement suit.

Related Stories:

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Legal, Samsung, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • The US government being partial to Apple in a conflict with Samsung ?

    Why I never ! Hard to believe !... ;-)

    • Well they are

      an American based company, while Samsung is a Korean based company. Sort of makes sense they'd favor Apple.
      Sam Wagner
      • ...

        It doesn't make sense, that's the point. Siding with a company purely because they are American is a joke, and to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if a nice donation from Apple to the courts helped them make the decision.
        • Why is it that everytime that a decision comes down

          that doesn't favor a person's "manufacturer of choice" it has to imply that judges were bought off, or something along those lines?

          Could it really be that Samsung was "in the wrong" here?
          • No

            > Could it really be that Samsung was "in the wrong" here?

            No more wrong than Apple was, and I think that's the point. It's bias and hyprocrisy. Nothing surprising from Apple or Democrats. If they had banned both Apple and Samsung products, fine- but you can't pick and choose to suit your own agenda.
          • CelticBrewer

            Your biased comments is a disgrace to all Celtic people everywhere.

            Samsun was in the wrong. Live with it without causing trouble.
          • If Samsung is in the wrong then so is Apple.

            There is no difference between these two cases.
          • There is significant difference in the cases

            Samsung was essentially ignoring FRAND in their demands on Apple. Whereas Samsung was violating Apple patents that were NOT under FRAND. And just as a point of FYI, a patent only protects the WAY you do something. Samsung was perfectly free to do their own R&D and find a way to implement the same functionality a different way. They didn't. Probably because it was cheaper for them to piggy back on Apple's R&D.
          • No, there are not. The ITC mead their determination and...

            ...ruled accordingly. What's good for the goose has to be good for the gander.
          • The ITC isn't to blame

            The ITC gave similar outcomes for both cases.

            The only significant difference is that one company had government intervention to overturn a court ruling and another didn't.

            That sets a very poor standard considering the nationalitities of the companies involved and which wasn't overturned.

            IMHO both should have been overturned and each company given a good hard spanking for their anti-competitive use of the patent system.
          • How come "both" should be "spanked", it only one of them -- Samsung -- ...

            ... decided to BETRAY their own obligations that they took at the time their patents became part of standard and abuse it? (For what Samsung in under investigation both in EU and USA.)

            You can not request ban products based on SEP, this is infringement of patent contracts that Samsung has with international standard bodies.

            Apple's patents are not SEP, so company has unlimited rights to seek the ban.
          • Comments

            like yours make my day. You act so injured.....ROFLMAO.
          • @DDERSSS

            so you are saying it is okay to steal SEPs, because the holder of the SEP really has no recourse. Apple has stolen SEPs from Samsung by refusing to pay FRAND licensing fees, and they are free to do so because they are SEPs. Meanwhile Samsung has infringed on non-essential patents and their products get banned.

            As above, unless you have links to details of the licensing agreements, you have no grounds to say the terms were not FRAND. It is indisputable that Apple has refused the terms. If the ITC thought Apple should not have to pay for the SEPs they would not have ruled against Apple in August.
          • Apple didnt refuse to pay frand licensing fees. This is just like the moto

            vs ms case. Willing to pay the same frand fees as everyone else, not willing to be singled out to pay way more than everyone else. While it's really crappy and speaks to the character of their leadership, google and Samsung are only half to blame. The other half falls squarely on the standards bodies who brain dead stupidly accept this patented ip into their standards before the frand terms are set. Let's hope that ceases to happen.
            Johnny Vegas
          • @JohnnyVegas

            Sorry, I missed the links to the terms. Yeah, the link that shows what others were paying and how much more Apple was going to be charged.
          • better yet

            Both rulings should have been upheld, and all the products banned until Apple and Samsung work out their licensing issues.
          • ridiculous

            Apple has been ignoring FRAND licensing by refusing to pay fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licensing fees to Samsung for SEPs. The ITC ruled against Apple. The government then gave Apple a pass, basically saying "It's okay to ignore to patent law, even on SEPs". Samsung loses non-essential patents, ITC issues a ban, government sits back and does nothing.

            Unless you have links detailing the licensing terms offered to Apple and at least one other vendor demonstrating that Apple was not getting as good a deal, leave the "Apple did not get offered FRAND terms" argument at home.

            Maybe South Korea will step in and ban the export of components used in the Apple devices the ITC banned. Doubtful, but it would certainly get the attention of the idiots in Washington DC
          • Actually, the court agreed that Samsung did follow FRAND rules

            The executive branch ignored that fact and overruled the court decision because Apple was having a temper trantum.
          • @ye t another mantra


            "If Samsung is in the wrong then so is Apple. There is no difference between these two cases."

            The reason given for the veto in the first case was that Samsung were abusing their contractual FRAND commitments on standards essential patents.

            The patents in the second case aren't standards essential and aren't subject to FRAND commitments.

            How is that "no difference" ?
            Henry 3 Dogg
        • More like a donation to Oblamma

          The Oblamma administration is so corrupt this type of decision comes as no surprise to anyone.....