Obama administration vetoes Apple iPhones/iPads import ban, South Korea concerned


In a turn of events for the Samsung-Apple patent controversy, US president Barack Obama’s administration has vetoed an import and sales ban on some Apple iPhones and iPads, upending a legal upper hand for Samsung. This is reportedly the first time since 1987 that a presidential administration has vetoed a ban by the country’s own International Trade Commission. This has raised a few eyebrows in the far east, in South Korea, where the media criticized the USA for protecting Apple.

The above mentioned ITC ban on some Apple iPhones and iPads is said to have caused a lot of tech industry lobbying with the president’s administration, which eventually ended up with this veto. This hasn’t gone well with the South Korean company, which is well connected with the government there, and hence has raised concerns over protectionism displayed by the USA.

“We express concerns about the negative impact that such a decision would have on the protection of patent rights,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, said in a statement.”

The initial lobbying that took place was for convincing the administration that Samsung had insisted on Apple infringing “standards essential” patents that are supposed to be widely available for all companies to license from. However, Samsung stills insists that Apple did co-operate with the licensing offer that the company reportedly provided.

“When a company agrees to license what is known as a standard-essential patent at fair and reasonable terms, it shouldn’t be able to ban importation of a product into the United States simply because it wants a better deal,”

The ongoing battle between the companies as a part of patent infringement is all set to be intensified with this recent announcement. The South Koreans are calling for a “fair and reasonable” decisions, while the tech industry in the USA wants protection against these kinds of patent attacks, which might eventually kill innovation in a large scale.

Source WSJ, Reuters

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!