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Obama Administration Blocks ITC Ban On iPhone, iPad Models

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.