Samsung Barred From Importing Smartphones Into Russia

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Russian court bans Samsung Electronics from importing and selling 61 models of smartphones in Russia over IP lawsuit concerning Samsung Pay

A court in Russia has hit Samsung Electronics with an operational reality check for the sale of its smartphones in the country.

Reuters cited the RIA news agency as reporting on Thursday the court barred Samsung Electronics from importing and selling 61 models of smartphones in Russia over an intellectual property lawsuit pertaining to its Samsung Pay system.

Samsung Pay is a contactless payment service, that uses a Samsung smartphone linked to a Visa or Mastercard payment card, provided by the likes of Natwest, Santander, and Nationwide.

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Samsung Pay lawsuit

The decision by Moscow Arbitration Court stems from a lawsuit filed by Switzerland-based SQWIN SA.

SQWIN has alleged that Samsung Pay infringes on its electronic payment system patent that is registered and thus allegedly protected in Russia.

The court had on 27 July upheld SQWIN SA’s claim but did not list the devices in question, leading the Swiss-based company to file an appeal in August, RIA reported.

However the new Russian court ruling on 19 October has now listed the 61 Samsung models the company was prohibited from importing and selling in Russia.

Samsung has reportedly said the case is currently in appeal, and declined to comment further.

Reuters reported that SQWIN SA also declined to comment.

Electronic sales

It should be remembered that all smartphones, smart TVs, and PCs sold in Russia, have to be pre-installed with Russian-made software.

In November 2019 a law was passed by Russia’s lower house of parliament. The new rule was promoted by the Russian government as making it easier for ordinary Russians to use the electronic gadgets they purchase.

In March 2020 Russia delayed the implementation of this law, as the world was to forced to contend with the consequences of the raging Coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the law being touted as a way to make it easier for Russians to use electronic devices, there was concern that by forcing foreign electronic manufacturers to pre-load Russian software, these makers could withdraw from the Russian market.

Despite that, the law was implemented in April this year, and foreign device makers are now complying with this Russian regulation.