Obama Strikes Down Apple Ban in Landmark Patent Dispute

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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President Barack Obama vetoed a ban created by the International Trade Commission on the import and sale of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2, marking the first time the U.S. overturned an ITC decision since 1987.

Samsung filed a claim in June claiming that the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 infringed on its patents. The ITC ruled in favor of the South Korean electronics firm in June and issued a ban on the import and sale of the products.

The case was part of a larger issue in the tech industry over patents made part of industry standards. Can companies then turn around and seek injunctions and import bans when a rival company supposedly violated that patent?  

On Saturday, U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman announced the import ban and the cease-and-desist order would be removed and Apple can continue selling the products.

A spokesperson for Apple responded, “we applaud the administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.”

In a letter to ITC Chairman Irving Williamson, Froman wrote that the licensing patents is essential to setting industry standards, “an important element of the administration’s policy of promoting innovation and economic progress.”

Samsung is reportedly “disappointed” by the administration’s decision.

“The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license,” a Samsung spokesperson said.

Sources: Newser, Politico