The White House has refused to grant Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) a veto on an ITC import ban on older smartphones deemed to be infringing Apple (AAPL -0.5%) patents related to swiping/scrolling gestures and headset detection. The decision comes two months after a ban on older iPhones/iPads ruled to be infringing a Samsung 3G patent was vetoed.
While critics might allege the differing rulings smack of hometown favoritism, the White House is likely to argue its stance is the due to the fact the Apple patents weren't standards-essential, and the Samsung patent was. The use of standards-essential IP in patent suits has turned into a hot-button political issue.
Regardless, the ban doesn't cover Samsung's latest phones, such as the Galaxy S4, S4 Mini, and Note 3, and is unlikely to have a big impact on the electronics giant's U.S. sales.