Last we heard, the long-drawn saga that is the Apple-Samsung patent trial ended with Samsung judged to have infringed on Apple’s range of patents, requiring the Korean company to pay $1.05 billion in damages. Samsung has appealed against the decision, but the second half of the Apple-Samsung saga has yet to begin.
On the other hand, Samsung did win a patent lawsuit of their own over Apple in June this year, with the US International Trade Commission ruling that several of Apple’s products, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, could face limited bans in the US. Apple was clearly unhappy with the ruling, stating that the infringing patents on the Apple products were, in fact, available for licensing by Samsung.
There was, in the end, an unusual twist to the story, as the Obama administration has issued a veto on the limited bans on the infringing Apple products. In its statement, the US government stated that the ban could have an effect on the “competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers.” It is the first block of its kind by any in the US presidency since the 1987 Reagan administration.
Both Samsung and Apple released statements soon after the ITC ban veto by the US government, with Samsung’s statement as below:
We are disappointed that the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to set aside the exclusion order issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license.
Apple released a brief statement regarding the veto as well:
We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.
The veto comes four days before the ITC was to provide a final ruling after Apple appealed against the initial ruling. However, the veto does not prevent Samsung from claiming compensation over the case, so we may not have heard the end of this just yet.