The Obama administration has overturned a ruling from its own International Trade Commission (ITC), effectively ending any threat of a ban on Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
The decision was signed off by US president Barack Obama’s trade representative, Michael Froman, after he said it would be detrimental to the US if the decision was enforced.
“The decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the US economy and the effect on US consumers,” Froman wrote in his decision.
Although the decision blocks the ITC’s ruling, Samsung is still free to pursue the case on appeal, which the company has already said it intends to do so, citing its frustration with the ruling.
"We are disappointed that the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to set aside the exclusion order issued by the ITC. The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license," a spokesperson said.
Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. However, Apple was said to have applauded the Obama administration for "standing up for innovation" and it attacked Samsung for abusing the patent system.
However, the decision angered the South Korean government, which said it was concerned by the precedent it set.
“We express concerns about the negative impact that such a decision would have on the protection of patent rights," the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.
The decision is just another in the endless patent saga between Samsung and Apple around the globe, with numerous other locations such as Germany and the UK having to deal with the two warring firms as they battle for market supremacy.
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