News & Updates

President Obama Overturns ITC Ban on Certain iPhone and iPads

As part of the ongoing patent battles between Apple and Samsung, Samsung recently won a ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that the importation of Apple’s iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3 as well as iPads and iPad 2s infringed one of Samsung’s patents on wireless communications. As a result, the ITC ordered that the future importation of the infringing Apple products be banned. Notably, Samsung had asserted four patents, but lost on three of them.

However, before the ban could take effect, the President’s Administration stepped in and overturned the impending ban. In a letter outlining the decision, Ambassador Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, cited “substantial concerns” about “patent hold-up,” in which companies use a patent to gain “undue leverage” over use of technologies. He also noted that wireless communications technology standards, some of which are covered by patents, “have come to play an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy.”

While perhaps shifting leverage in negotiations, the President’s action will not stop the dispute between Apple and Samsung from continuing to play out in Court and behind the scenes.