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Samsung

Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It is the largest South Korean chaebol. Key subsidiaries include Samsung Electronics, Samsung Heavy Industries, Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T.

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Samsung loses bid over import ban

Victory for Apple after US upholds a ban won by the iPhone maker in patent infringement dispute

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 11:06am

Samsung Electronics must stop importing some models of smartphones and tablet computers into the United States after President Barack Obama's administration upheld a ban won by Apple in a patent infringement dispute.

"After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies and information from interested parties, I have decided to allow" the import ban to proceed, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said yesterday.

The companies are the largest in the US$279.9 billion global smartphone market, with Samsung holding the title of world's biggest. Patent litigation on four continents, which has cost the companies hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees, has left no clear winner, with each seeking the biggest prize of limiting the other's sales in the US.

The South Korean firm argued the ban ordered by the International Trade Commission should be overturned on public policy grounds, especially since a similar order it won against Apple's iPhone 4S was thwarted by a presidential veto in August. Samsung can now seek a delay in the ban from a US appeals court.

While Apple typically has just four iPhone models on the market at any time, Samsung has dozens of handsets, led by its flagship Galaxy S4, which was not part of the case.

The import ban is on a limited number of products. The commission said newer models by Samsung had worked around two Apple patents, which covered a multitouch feature and one for a sensor for headphone jacks.

"The order expressly states that these devices and any other Samsung electronic media devices incorporating the approved design-around technologies are not covered," Froman said. "Thus, concerns with regard to enforcement related to the scope of the order, in this case, provide a policy basis for disapproving it."

Samsung's mobile unit is expected to report third-quarter sales rose 25 per cent.

Forcing Samsung to change its design is a victory for Apple. The iPhone maker says it keeps and entices new customers by contrasting the look and ease of its devices to other manufacturers. It has accused Samsung of simply putting a new name on some handsets without making any changes.

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