Stung by a recent ruling by the Obama administration that struck down a potential sales ban of some Apple devices in the U.S., Samsung is smarting even more after the Obama administration declined to strike down a sales ban of some Samsung devices as ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC previously ruled that Samsung had infringed on Apple patents related to detection of headphone jacks and on a multitouch feature. If there is any silver lining, it is the limited number of devices that will be impacted as newer Samsung devices incorporate different designs that get around the Apple patents.
Samsung had hoped the administration could be pressured into overturning the ban as a type of quid pro quo for the earlier overturning of Samsung’s win with the ITC. Obama’s designee that rendered the decision, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, did not see things that way, explaining the ban on Apple products involved standard-essential patents which justified overturning the ban. The ban on Samsung devices involved a typical patent dispute that did not warrant administrative intervention.
Samsung issued a statement regarding the decision indicating “It will serve only to reduce competition and limit choice for the American consumer.” Meanwhile, Apple has not issued a comment. The next step for Samsung, if they choose to pursue it, will be to seek a delay from a U.S. appeals court.