Saturday, August 3, 2013

Obama Administration Vetoes ITC's Ban of Older Apple iPhones and iPads

Today, the Obama Administration vetoed the International Trade Commission's (ITC) ban of Apple's infringement of Samsung's standard essential patent.

As background in June 2013, the ITC ordered a ban of AT& T's model of Apple's iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the iPad 3G, and iPad 2 based on infringement of Samsung's U.S. Patent No. 7,706,348. Apple was faced with the ITC ban, an appeal to the Federal Circuit, or a request for the President to veto the ban. The last time a President vetoed an ITC order was in the 1980's so it seemed an appeal to the Federal Circuit was the likely next step.

However, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman decided to veto the ITC ban expressing the "concern that a ban on Apple's products would abuse Samsung's right to the essential patent, which involves encoding and decoding information on a CDMA cell phone network." Mr. Froman warned the ITC should carefully examine if a ban based on a standard essential patent serves the public interest before granting it. This is an unexpected setback for Samsung which now must seek a remedy in federal court.

For further details see Mr. Froman's letter explaining the decision and Older iPhones won't be banned as Obama Administration vetoes ITC decision.

Updated August 5: Obama administration may have overturned the ITC ban due to reasons presented in ITC commissioner Dean Pinkert's dissent. See CNN Money How the ITC forced a veto in the Samsung-Apple patent case. Also see FOSS Patents One ITC chief found Samsung to fail to offer Apple FRAND licensing terms to its UMTS patents.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.