Samsung barred from importing two older phones in US

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A limited exclusion order won by Apple at the International Trade Commission effectively banned some of Samsung’s older phones from being imported into the US. The order was released two months ago and became effective on 9th October.

Samsung’s only hope was a veto by the US president; however, Mr Obama recently released a similar veto protecting Apple from an exclusion order.

The case is part of a vast array of patent battles ensuing between Samsung and Apple. For this case, the products of Samsung were found to have infringed two patents owned by Apple: one related to headphone-jack sensors, the other to multitouch technology.

The impact of the import ban is significantly limited as the Korean giant’s newer phone models managed to work around the patents involved in the case, noted US trade representative Michael Froman.

“The order expressly states that these devices and any other Samsung electronic media devices incorporating the approved design-around technologies are not covered,” said Mr Froman in a statement given to Bloomberg News. “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.”

The exclusion order affected two older Samsung phones – the Continuum SCH-1400 and the Transform SPH-M920. Although the Galaxy Tab 7.0 and Galaxy S II were included in the case, the court found that they did not infringe Apple’s headphone patent.

While the effect of the exclusion order on Samsung was de minimis, the Korean company still fought vociferously, saying that the ITC ban threatens legitimate trade and is overly broad.

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