Obama Stops ITC Ban of Some Apple Products

Posted by at 8:37 pm on August 4, 2013

The Obama Administration today stepped in and vetoed a U.S. International Trade Commission ban that would have blocked sales of several Apple products.

The veto arrived at the last minute, as the ban was set to go into effect August 5. Earlier this year the ITC found Apple guilty of infringing on a Samsung patent that pertains to how mobile devices transmit data via wireless networks. The patent is considered to be standard essential, and must be licensed at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. Apple and Samsung were unable to agree on a licensing deal for the patent.

As a result, the ITC chose to ban the AT&T variants of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Other Apple iPhones and iPads were not impacted by the ban. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman decided that the ban might give patent holders “undue leverage” in future patent cases.

The veto marks the first time a president has interfered with an ITC action since 1987. Froman said that Samsung is free to continue to pursue its complaints against Apple in court.

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