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South Korean gov't. speaks out on veto of ITC ban of Apple devices

updated 03:43 pm EDT, Mon August 5, 2013

Asks for 'fair and reasonable' decision on possible ban of Samsung goods

The South Korean government has issued a statement expressing worries about the Obama administration veto of an ITC ban on some Apple products. The Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy says that the decision could harm Samsung's patent rights, and that it will be paying close attention on Friday, when the ITC is expected to rule on a possible ban of some of Samsung's Galaxy devices. "We hope to see a fair and reasonable decision on the matter," the ministry states.

Like LG or Hyundai, Samsung is deeply integral to the Korean economy, with a presence in many different sectors. The news of the veto knocked $1 billion off Samsung's market value in early Monday trading, even though the Apple products that would've been subject to a ban are older, cheaper, and likely to be taken off the market next month anyway.

Until this weekend, no US administration had vetoed an ITC ruling since 1987. The latest action and South Korea's response could escalate the Apple v. Samsung dispute into a political one, considering that the Obama administration might be seen as following bias instead of the rule of law. In issuing the veto, US Trade Representative Michael Froman cited the possibility of "undue leverage" by patent holders as one of the main reasons; to be fair, the ITC may have to decide against banning Samsung products as well.

A free trade agreement between the US and South Korea was signed over a year ago. The latter party may thus not have much flexibility in economic matters, especially in light of its dependence on the US for defense against North Korea.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 07-26-05

    This kind of thing is stupid. Apple was going to get banned due to a standards essential patent that they refused to license at a reasonable rate.

  1. reader50

    Administrator

    Joined: 06-01-00

    I'll be fine with this if the administration also vetos any forthcoming import ban on Samsung phones. In my opinion, this matter should be decided in the courts or via patent law revisions. The executive branch should not intervene to play favorites.

  1. jameshays

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-10-03

    I agree with reader50. This sets a bad precedence in an already troubling environment where winners and losers are decided upon by political favors, not legal means of agreements. It opens way too many unknown doors. We should be closing these abilities from the Executive Branch, not exploiting them.

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Originally Posted by SaltyView Post

    This kind of thing is stupid. Apple was going to get banned due to a standards essential patent that they refused to license at a reasonable rate.



    I guess it depends on what you call reasonable. 2.25 percent of the entire device price isn't reasonable...

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Agree with you EstaNightshift...this blanket condemnation of the ban lift seems to be based on ideology rather than case specifics.

    A 2.25% royalty on each device was extravagant by any standard or precedent, and brought about quick, substantial denunciation by the technology industry. South Korea would do well to practice what they preach when it comes to bans and enforcement of patents laws...including those not owned by Korean companies.

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-14-05

    @ reader50 and jameshays:

    It had nothing to do with political favors. The original ruling set a dangerous precedent that opened the doors for future FRAND abuse. The administration had little choice but to overturn it.

    Why do you guys think even competitors of Apple petitioned the administration to overturn that ridiculous ruling?

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    @reader50 and jameshays: so if Samsung willfully infringed on a non-SEP Apple patent and the ITC (correctly) bans the offending products, the Obama administration should overturn the ban ... just because?

    Your rationale is seriously lacking here. Suggest you research what an SEP is, what FRAND licensing is, then get back to us and let us know if you can still defend the idea of "just because" ban overturns.

    This is the first time an administration has had to overturn a ban since 1987. There's a reason for that.

  1. machobbes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-13-09

    What almost nobody mentions:
    Samsung will also benefit from this veto. Because in other, similar disputes at the ITC (Interdigital) it would be on the receiving end of a similar ban.

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Originally Posted by machobbesView Post

    What almost nobody mentions:
    Samsung will also benefit from this veto. Because in other, similar disputes at the ITC (Interdigital) it would be on the receiving end of a similar ban.



    I'm not as familiar with the interdigital case- are those FRAND patents too? I didn't think they were.

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