Yesterday, US Trade Representative Michael Froman declined to overturn a ban – originally put in place by the International Trade Commission – on a range of older Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S II and the dual-screen Continuum.
"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 commission's determination to become final," Froman says in a statement.
The development is a win for Apple, which filed the patent-infringement lawsuit that led to the ban. (The four patents in question involve touch-screen and headphone-detection technology, among other features.)
And yet the repercussions for Samsung could be relatively limited: As Reuters notes, neither the ITC nor the US Customs and Border Protection have discussed exactly how they would keep affected Samsung products out of the States.
Moreover, popular new items such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, which does not use banned technology, are exempt from the ruling.
"We are disappointed by the US Trade Representative's decision to allow the exclusion order issued by the US International Trade Commission," Samsung says in a statement obtained by The Verge. "It will serve only to reduce competition and limit choice for the American consumer."
In related news, Samsung today took the wraps off a new curved screen smartphone – allegedly the first in history – called the Samsung Galaxy Round. Unfortunately for American consumers, the device will launch initially only in Korea.