President Obama Declines Samsung Import Ban Veto


The presidential veto to overturn an import ban on several older Samsung smartphones and tablets has failed to materialize, reports Bloomberg. This means Samsung products infringing two Apple patents cannot enter the country after midnight, October 8, 2013.

“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, Obama’s designee, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, said in a statement today.

Back in August, the Obama administration vetoed a similar ban that targeted Apple products — including the iPhone 4S — infringing Samsung’s patents. However, as the US Trade Representative highlighted back then, the ban involved a basic function of the phone, which was the ability to transmit data, part of a standard used across platforms. The administration emphasized that it aims to limit the ability to use standard-essential patents to block competition.

In Samsung’s case, the Apple patents cover product features that differentiate the iPhone from other smartphones, whereas in this case, patents involving multi-touch technology and headphone jack detection are involved.

Samsung may seek a delay in the ban from a U.S. appeals court that will consider the entire case on legal grounds.