South Korea denounces US government decision to overturn Apple iPhone ban

South Korea’s government has joined Samsung in expressing its concern at a US decision to overturn an import ban on older Apple devices.

A statement from the country’s government came after US President Barack Obama’s trade representative vetoed a decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC), which ruled Apple had infringed Samsung patents.

"We express concerns about the negative impact that such a decision would have on the protection of patent rights,” read a statement from the South Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy carried by the BBC.

The Ministry also asked the ITC and Obama’s administration to make “fair and reasonable decisions".

Obama’s government intervening represents the first time an ITC decision has been vetoed since 1987 and has been done to protect US economic conditions.

The ban would have banned sales and imports of the AT&T version of the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4, as well as the iPad and iPad 2 3G version, and would have started this week.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting it out through the courts over patents since 2011 in a battle that has developed into a global one. Each side has filed various lawsuits that have concerned everything from the design of devices to the use of technology on them.

Samsung, the South Korean firm at the centre of the row, now faces a court decision on Friday that will rule whether or not its phone and tablets infringed on Apple’s patents. The result of the case could see Samsung’s phones and tablets banned from being imported in the US.

The South Korean company isn’t the only firm to be met with the wrath of Apple’s legal team with Google’s Motorola losing out to the Cupertino-based firm in court after accusing them of using a Motorola sensor-related patent without permission.