Over the weekend, the Obama administration stepped in to keep some of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s products from being banned from import. The International Trade Commission had decided that the ban should happen because it ruled that the company infringed upon technical patents owned by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930).
South Korea criticizes the move in Apple’s favor
However, Obama officials stepped in and vetoed that decision, saying that it was better for competition to allow Apple’s older models to continue being sold. Now officials from South Korea have expressed concerns about the decision made by the administration. Reuters’ Hyunjoo Jin reports that media in South Korea have branded the decision as “protectionism.”
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The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy issued a statement expressing “concerns about the negative impact” the decision could have on patent right protection. This week the patent wars between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung continue with another case before the ITC. This time the case is reversed, and the commission will decide whether Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) violated some of Apple’s patents and should be banned from import.
Apple backed by U.S. companies and lawmakers
Many lawmakers and companies in the U.S. actually sided with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the ban on the iPhone 4 and some of its other older models. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and other companies stepped into the debate in support of Apple. They were opposed to the ban because it related to patents which related to standard technology used in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s network.
Samsung has claimed that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) refused to pay the licensing fees it charged, although Apple claims that Samsung wouldn’t license the technology to it. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents indicated that the ITC was “out of step” with the times and points out that this is the first time in decades that the president’s administration stepped in to prevent products from being banned.