Some of Samsung’s products face an import ban imposed by the ITC that’ll go into effect at 12 am Eastern time, October 8th, unless Samsung too manages to gets a veto from President Obama like Apple got.
Samsung Electronics Co. wants the same favor from President Barack Obama that he gave U.S.-based Apple Inc. — the right to keep importing smartphones and tablets found to infringe the other’s patents.
Unless the White House overturns an import ban against Samsung for infringing two Apple patents, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones will see certain older models locked out of the U.S. at midnight Oct. 8 Washington time.
A couple of months ago, President Obama had vetoed an ITC sales ban on the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2, which were found to infringe a Samsung patent related to data transmission over networks. The ban was vetoed citing Samsung’s unfair use of standard-essential patents to block competitors.
However, this case involves Apple’s patents relating to multitouch and headphone-jack detection, both of which aren’t standard-essential. In its appeal to the President, Samsung argues that the two patents are relatively minor features of a highly complex product, so they shouldn’t result in a ban. Samsung does admit, however, “The volume of products actually affected by the commission’s orders is perhaps small.”
In its appeal the Korean company also slips in a favoritism angle:
“The world is watching how Samsung is treated by the United States in this ‘smartphone war. The administration has a significant interest in avoiding the perception of favoritism and protectionism toward U.S. companies.”
With the US government shutdown, the President vetoing the import ban in time is highly unlikely. As Samsung admits, however, the impact of the ban would be negligible on Samsung’s overall financials.