Back in August, President Barack Obama vetoed a product ban on certain Apple devices that was handed down by the International Trade Commission. The devices covered by the ban were determined to have infringed standard essential patents from Samsung. The company was hoping the president would give it the same consideration in its own claim.
In a statement released today, Obama’s designee, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, told listeners that: “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.
Samsung was hoping the Obama administration would also overturn a ban handed down by the ITC for infringing on Apple patents, including a multitouch feature and another patent for a sensor for headphone jacks. Samsung argued that they had redesigned the infringing technologies, but Apple insisted that the South Korean company had only renamed the devices without actually changing anything about how they work.
Not all Samsung handsets are affected by the ban. Newer models like the Galaxy S4 have incorporated approved design-around technologies to circumvent Apple’s patents.
“The veto of the Apple import ban “was based on political pressure and favoritism,” Edward Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a Washington trade group whose members include Samsung and Google Inc., told Bloomberg.
“It was not in keeping with the way the decisions are made.”
Though it may seem like the US government is picking sides and favoring the US company, the ITC stated that the nationality of the companies did not play a role in determining the decision for the product ban or the veto, and that the two instances are quite different, thus one ban was vetoed, the other not.
The number of products the two companies are selling in the market also played a huge role in determining whether to ban the said devices. Apple has a maximum of four iPhone models available at any given time, while Samsung has dozens of models out. So banning a few Samsung products will not hurt the company’s revenue.
Speaking of Samsung devices, it’s just launched a rather intriguing new device with a curved screen. Dubbed the Galaxy Round, the device boasts a 5.7-inch 1080p screen, the same size as the Galaxy Note III, but the difference lies in the fact that the screen is concave.
It measures 7.9mm thick, weighs 154g, and has a 2800mAh battery. Additional features include a 13MP rear camera, 2.3GHz quad-core processor. The whole device is curved and this design serves a purpose as Samsung is introducing a new feature called “Round Interaction.” When the device is place on a flat surface, tilting it to one side would allow the user to see information such as missed calls, battery life, and the date and time, even when the screen is turned off.
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