US President Barack Obama's administration on Tuesday upheld a decision [text, PDF; JURIST report] by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) [official website] to ban some Samsung products on the grounds that the products infringed on designs patented by Apple [corporate websites]. US Trade Representative Michael Froman [official website] declared [IT World report] that the import ban would protect intellectual property rights and would have only a minimal effect on the availability of Samsung products because Samsung has redesigned several of the devices that infringed on Apple's patents. The import ban applies to Samsung products such as the Galaxy S 4G, Captivate and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Apple has been involved in a protracted patent litigation battle [JURIST op-ed] with Samsung that spans four continents. The two companies have been engaged in patent litigation since 2010, each filing lawsuits against the other over the design and functionality of their devices. Last month the European Commission [official website] instructed Samsung to offer more concessions [JURIST report] in their proposal to settle antitrust charges. In August the Obama administration overturned [official text, PDF] a US trade panel ban on the sale of older iPads and iPhones. In June the Tokyo District Court ruled for Apple [JURIST report] in a patent infringement suit. Similarly in March a UK court also ruled for Apple permitting continued use of technology [JURIST report] that allows transfers of information over the third-generation networks that are used by smartphones. In January a Dutch court ruled that the designs of some Galaxy Tab models produced by Samsung do not infringe designs patented by Apple [JURIST report].