Seoul criticizes U.S. over ban on some Samsung mobile devices

Seoul criticizes U.S. over ban on some Samsung mobile devices

The Korean government expressed disappointment Wednesday with US President Barack Obama's decision not to veto an import ban on some mobile products of Samsung Electronics.

"It is regrettable that the US government made different decisions related to patent infringement in a situation where Samsung and Apple are globally competing in the mobile telecommunications sector," the Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry said in a press release.

The ministry was referring to Obama's August decision to reverse a ban proposed by the US International Trade Commission on some old models of the Apple iPhone and iPad found to have infringed Samsung patents.

Acting on behalf of President Obama, US Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Tuesday the decision to prohibit Samsung from exporting a set of older models including the Galaxy S, Galaxy SII, Galaxy Nexus, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the United States.

But analysts said that the impact of the ban of some Samsung digital devices on the Korean tech giant's sales in the US market would likely be limited as most of them are old models.

Samsung Electronics made a similar response to the decision, hinting that it would file an appeal against the ruling at the US circuit court of appeals.

"It is regretful that the import ban was imposed on some Samsung products from being imported into the US, which could put a limit on choice for American consumers and restrict competition," Samsung said in a statement.

Some market observers expressed concerns over the US government's "biased" decision, although it was made on the basis of patents. The US government said August's decision was related to standard essential patents while the patents covered by Tuesday's decision were not. Standard essential patents relate to products that must conform to a particular technical standard.

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