Obama administration must veto anti-Samsung ITC ruling
The US International Trade Commission has banned the sale in the US of certain Samsung devices, owing to patent disputes with Apple. Since the Obama administration blocked a similar ban against Apple devices, they must block this one, both on the merits and for political reasons.
I'm not sure about the merits of the US International Trade Commission's recent rulings against Apple and Samsung, which ban the sale of certain of each company's devices because of patent disputes with the other, but at least they give the appearance of consistency.
It's really not a hard decision. Whatever the merits of the claims, by allowing this new ruling to stand the administration would be sending a message of overt and hypocritical protectionism against a close ally and major trade partner.
Perhaps I missed it, but I don't think he actually says that any of the patents involved in the ITC ruling he overturned were SEPs, but citing the policy statement gives at least a veneer of legal justification for his decision.
He also said that the decision was made based on '…the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers'. What would the effect of banning certain Samsung devices be on the U.S. economy and its consumers? Not good.
Froman concludes the letter by noting that '…the patent owner [i.e. Samsung] may continue to pursue its rights through the courts'. The same is obviously true of Apple in this case.
There may be differences in the relative merits of the patent claims on each side which would argue for upholding this new ruling and overturning the old one. Even to the extent that those points are valid they don't necessarily justify a trade ban, in light of the previously-mentioned policy paper. At the same time, those points would be within the grasp of very few, while the political and trade implications of upholding the new ruling are only too obvious.
The implication is clear: The administration must once again delegate a decision to Ambassador Froman and he must overturn the similar decision for the same reasons. Let the parties duke it out in the courts.