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Obama Administration Blocks ITC Ban On iPhone, iPad Models

By - Source: via Engadget | B 24 comments

The International Trade Commission's import ban on several models of Apple mobile devices has been blocked.

Obama has vetoed a ban that the International Trade Commission attempted to impose on some older models of iPad and iPhone. The ITC issued an import ban preventing Apple from importing several models of iPhone and iPad back in early June. The ban came after an ITC ruling that Apple had violated Samsung-owned patents related to cellular technology and the notice named the AT&T models of the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 as well as 3G versions of the original iPad and iPad 2The import ban was supposed to kick in after a 60-day President review period, but the Obama administration has actually vetoed the ITC's decision.

"After extensive consultations with the agencies of the Trade Policy Staff Committee and the Trade Policy Review Group, as well as other interested agencies and persons, I have decided to disapprove the USITC's determination to issue and exclusion order and cease and desist order in this investigation," the Obama administration's U.S. Trade Representative said in a letter to the ITC.

"This decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations discussed above as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers."

Apple is, of course, pleased with the news, telling Engadget in a statement that Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system and applauding the Obama administration for "standing up for innovation." Samsung is less pleased, and has released a statement to that effect. However, the U.S. Trade Representative has said that Samsung is still free to pursue the issue in the courts, so it's likely we haven't seen the last of this dispute.

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    NightLight , August 5, 2013 10:18 AM
    "that Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system" pot->kettle?
  • 24 Hide
    djfv , August 5, 2013 11:01 AM
    Of course, Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system.
    But it is completely ok for Apple to demand 1 billion in damages for copying "rounded corners". *facepalm*
  • 22 Hide
    noob2222 , August 5, 2013 10:15 AM
    Cant ban a product that the government itself uses, but sure as heck can ban a foreign country's product without hesitation.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    noob2222 , August 5, 2013 10:15 AM
    Cant ban a product that the government itself uses, but sure as heck can ban a foreign country's product without hesitation.
  • 9 Hide
    NightLight , August 5, 2013 10:18 AM
    well, this is certainly a sad day! i feel obama owes samsung one now!
  • 32 Hide
    NightLight , August 5, 2013 10:18 AM
    "that Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system" pot->kettle?
  • 0 Hide
    mobrocket , August 5, 2013 10:27 AM
    @NightLight

    +1000
  • 17 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , August 5, 2013 10:48 AM
    Did Apple really have the balls to say that Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system?

    Did you guys get that quote from The Onion by chance?
  • 9 Hide
    olaf , August 5, 2013 11:00 AM
    American Justice at its best .... nuff said
  • 24 Hide
    djfv , August 5, 2013 11:01 AM
    Of course, Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system.
    But it is completely ok for Apple to demand 1 billion in damages for copying "rounded corners". *facepalm*
  • 5 Hide
    COLGeek , August 5, 2013 11:26 AM
    American government protecting the interests of an American company. Is anyone seriously surprised by this?

    Also, given that the big tech firms are always suing each other over something (often with differing verdicts in various legal venues) it is amazing that consumers can buy anything.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , August 5, 2013 11:26 AM
    Gotta' give those old tech phones a push somehow...
  • 1 Hide
    Krisk7 , August 5, 2013 12:46 PM
    This just proves that politics/trade is pragmatic (Americans defending American products). Politician/traders will show you a patent and call you a thief unless you have ... say 1,3 billion market, nuclear weapons and buy their bonds, then they simply do business with you. Lenovo in number one world laptop manufacturer. Samsung is dethroning Apple. Rich countries must start working hard again ... patents are no good anymore.
  • 2 Hide
    noob2222 , August 5, 2013 12:54 PM
    I wonder how much inside information was given to our "government stock holders".

    Obama: "hey everyone, get ready to buy some apple stock, im going to veto this bill"

    Apple: "hey thanks obama for letting us steal Samsung patents without paying for them"
  • -5 Hide
    cirdecus , August 5, 2013 1:05 PM
    It actually was the President of the ITC who vetoed it, not Obama. The President of the ITC determined that Apple filed to license those patents from Samsung but instead, Samsung wouldn't license them without requiring Apple to give them free access to some of theirs. Since this is obviously not a universal requirement and Samsung specifically wanted to make it harder for Apple to license them than any other company it contracts with, the President of the ITC decided to Veto the ban and call the abuse in favor of Apple.

    It's also worth noting that the ITC board planned this. They wanted to boot it up to their President to make a decision to send a stronger message to Samsung and other companies that do this. It's super unfair and its a way to cheat the system.
  • -1 Hide
    cirdecus , August 5, 2013 1:07 PM
    So in followup up to my previous post, it's discriminatory to hold patents and choose to rack the cost up on competitors and then turn around and keep the price low for everyone else. It's like Microsoft telling Samsung that in order license OEM windows on all Samsung laptops, they have to pay $1000 per device rather the usual <$100 per device that Dell and other manufacturers enjoy.
  • 5 Hide
    andruszko , August 5, 2013 1:08 PM
    Lol..."samsung" abused the patent system. You know if Apple had Samsung devices banned Obama wouldn't have vetoed it, even though Apple's probably the worst patent abusing company that exists. They were the ones to START the patent war with Samsung.
  • 0 Hide
    cirdecus , August 5, 2013 1:08 PM
    So in followup up to my previous post, it's discriminatory to hold patents and choose to rack the cost up on competitors and then turn around and keep the price low for everyone else. It's like Microsoft telling Samsung that in order license OEM windows on all Samsung laptops, they have to pay $1000 per device rather the usual <$100 per device that Dell and other manufacturers enjoy.
  • 2 Hide
    QEFX , August 5, 2013 1:49 PM
    I have less and less respect for the Obama administration.

    Did Apple do a brown packet job on Obama and his group (bribe) or is this just standard US ignoring their own rules to protect their own, yet again?



  • 2 Hide
    radiovan , August 5, 2013 2:07 PM
    What do you call when a large state-sanctioned corporation is in collusion with a large centralized government? Let’s see…could it be fascism.
  • 0 Hide
    wifiwolf , August 5, 2013 3:08 PM
    Shocking as the import ban on Apple's products are going to have impact on consumers and bans on android devices didn't get any even though they are a bigger slice of the market.
  • 2 Hide
    koga73 , August 5, 2013 4:28 PM
    The Obama Administration should have stayed out of this and left it to the courts.
  • 1 Hide
    fat_panda , August 5, 2013 4:46 PM
    U.S. patent system is just out of control, that's the real problem.
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