The South Korean government is upset about a US decision to overturn a sales ban of certain Apple products that infringe Samsung patents. Seoul has urged the White House to remain fair in the long-running copyright feud.
The South Korean government said it was worried about apossible negative impact of a ruling by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on protecting patents held by Korean manufacturer Samsung, the Trade Ministry in Seoul said in a statement Monday.
On Saturday, the USTR overruled a June decision by the US International Trade Commission (USITC), which imposed a sales ban on some older models of Apple products.
At the time, USITC ruled that Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 3, as well as a variation of the iPad 2 must not be imported from China and sold in the US because they violated a patent held by Samsung.
However, the US Trade Representative Michael Fromm said the Obama administration's decision to lift the ban was based on its effects on competitive conditions in the US economy and the effect on consumers. It was the first time since 1987 that the USTR has overruled the commission.
While Samsung said it was disappointed with the USTR's decision, Apple applauded the administration for "standing up for innovation."
The two global technology giants Apple and Samsung have been locked in a long-running battle over copyright issues regarding their smartphone and tablet computer products.
On Monday, the South Korean trade ministry said it would closely watch an upcoming ruling by USITC on August 9 on whether or not some Samsung devices violated Apple's patents.
"We hope the ruling by USITC and further decisions by the US administration will be made on fair and reasonable grounds," it added.
uhe/rg (AFP, Reuters, dpa)