In the midst of a US Government shutdown, Samsung has failed to obtain a presidential veto for an import ban levied against them. In a statement, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said “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.”
This all stems from an August import ban on some Samsung devices, which was instituted by the International Trade Commission. Those devices, which Apple said infringed on their design philosophy, are older Samsung models such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The White House had 60 days to step in, but have decided to support the ITC on this matter. According to Bloomberg, The White House said corporate nationality — Samsung is a Korean entity, Apple is from California — “played no role in the review process.” The White House did, however, overturn a similar ruling against Apple some time ago. Again, that sales ban was tied into the ongoing Apple-Samsung worldwide litigation.
Those devices are said to infinge on patents relating to multi-touch features and a headphone jack sensor.
“The order expressly states that these devices and any other Samsung electronic media devices incorporating the approved design-around technologies are not covered. Thus, I do not believe that concerns with regard to enforcement related to the scope of the order, in this case, provide a policy basis for disapproving it.” said Froman.
Samsung is understandably disappointed in the decision, with spokesman Adam Yates saying “It will serve only to reduce competition and limit choice for the American consumer.” We’ll let you decide if a company with dozens of devices in the market is really damaged by not being able to sell a few older models.