White House vetoes iPhone, iPad ban after Samsung patent spat

White House vetoes iPhone, iPad ban after Samsung patent spat

Summary: The Obama administration vetoes a ban handed down by the U.S. International Trade Commission following a patent infringement battle with Samsung.

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TOPICS: Apple, Samsung
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(Image: CNET)

The White House on Saturday shot down a court ruling that would have prevented Apple from selling older versions of its iPhone and iPad in the United States.

According to a letter published by The Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration delegated the decision to veto a court decision made earlier this year by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The USITC ordered a ban on some older AT&T versions of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPad 2 3G devices following a patent infringement suit with Samsung.

The decision went in Samsung's favor based on a single patent — U.S. Patent No. 7,706,348, which is owned by the Korean electronics giant — that included Apple's "wireless communications devices" and "portable music and data processing devices."

Under the order, Apple would not have been able to import the products where they are built and assembled in China into the U.S.

"After extensive consultations [with numerous agencies], I have decided to disapprove the USITC's determination to issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order in this investigation," Froman wrote in the letter.

"This decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations [discussed in the letter] as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers."

Froman added in his letter that the decision was "not an endorsement or a criticism" of the Commission. "The patent owner [Samsung] may continue to pursue its rights through the courts," noting that Samsung was still entitled to a remedy.

This is the first time the White House has vetoed an order by the USITC since 1987, according to the Journal.

Topics: Apple, Samsung

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34 comments
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  • Gotta Wonder ???

    How much $$$$$ Apple put into Obamas' pocket for this one? Or, maybe it was just free iCrap for life?

    Either way, something stinks!
    Mujibahr
    • Hmm

      Where was this administration when Apple was having other products banned?
      slickjim
    • The only thing that stinks is your comment.

      AT&T petitioned the Government on behalf of Apple's case stating that this ban would be "...inconsistent with the president's goal of ubiquitous broadband deployment."

      Microsoft, Intel and Oracle also agreed with AT&T's position and backed Apple's veto request as well.

      If your going to slander Apple than you will have to slander AT&T, Microsoft and Oracle as well. But slandering those companies shouldn't be too difficult for such a wordsmith as yourself.
      kenosha77a
      • And here comes the iSheep to the rescue

        I see you are alpha version of an earlier release.
        So let's see. 3 big, nearly monopoly corporations back up a fourth one. Wow. This is truly surprising and gives a lot of credibility to Apple..... NOT.
        kirovs@...
        • kirovs@...: "3 big, nearly monopoly corporations back up a fourth one"

          Actually, Microsoft, Intel and Apple are all former near-monopoly corporations thanks to Google, Android, ARM and Samsung. Oracle merely wants to 'stick it' to Google; sour grapes from their failed case against Google over Java in Android.

          P.S. Not to appear pro Google, shame on you Google for not stepping in and supporting Apache's Harmony project when Oracle, with IBM's assistance, shut the project down. Yes, Google dipped into Harmony for Dalvik. Ah, gratitude.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
        • If only Apple had your recommendation, right?

          I would bet a month's salary that you were unaware of Apple's Corporate backing from those firms before reading my comments. Well at least now you have multiple targets to howl at under a full moon while ranting against your perceived injustice against your favorite fanboy platform.

          If you ever submit a thoughtful argument ( and that's a long shot at best), I will answer it with respect. As it is, your words make you unworthy of such consideration.
          kenosha77a
          • How are you going to send me the money?

            I prefer cash.
            kirovs@...
          • I will give you credit for a witty response by

            neither confirming or denying if you were aware that AT&T, Microsoft, Intel and Oracle supported Apple's position before today.

            And I can't fault your desire for money. Grin. But this topic thread has run it's course - wouldn't you agree?
            kenosha77a
      • Do you actually think your arguments through?

        You merely parrot an argument, regardless of whether it makes any bloody sense at all. Not a very convincing strategy.
        hydroxide
    • Mujibahr..When you say something stinks....I can only say

      Its in the nose of the beholder. Every MFG put a certin amount/donates to all past, present and future Pres. to look on them favorably.

      Money talks everyware in the world and bull s**t is nothing more than BS. All you can hope fore is a certin amount of fairness from your point of view ......and in the end the consumer has to be the winner or no one spends any money and everyone is out of work......so take your choice and live with it.....

      End Of Story
      Over and Out
  • What will happen when Apple tries to ban others?!

    Morals will hardly be on Apple side - but this is all about the money and most consumers don't care for principles - sadly.
    AleMartin
    • it will depend

      If Apple will refuse to license an technology under FRAND, then yes - they deserve the same fate.

      However, Apple rarely provides their technology for inclusion in FRAND-regulated standards, perhaps because they don't believe in FRAND (I myself certainly don't).

      Apple has so far sued on imitation.
      danbi
      • Apple does indeed have Standard Essential Patents..

        and they, like Microsoft, have publicly stated they will not sue over FRAND issues.
        msalzberg
    • What will happen?

      Absolutely nothing because Apple along with Microsoft and Cisco, stated very publicly that they would 'never' sue over FRAND patents. You appear to be confused between SEPs and non-SEPs.
      Try learning the difference.
      frogspaw
  • Just curious...

    If all of you crying about Apple, cried foul when Microsoft was caught exposing all of the Passport information for their users (this was AFTER MS promised it would never happen again, and offered to be fined $1,500 for EACH PERSONS INFO EXPOSED, if it ever happened again.

    Well, it did, and MS was supposed to be fined over a TRILLION dollars. Yes, over a trillion. Guess what?

    The Bush administration, yes, those fine upstanders of antitrust law, the same ones that gave MS a pass on their conviction (which, if you all remember correctly, was rumored at that time was because MS offered a backdoor into windows to the NSA if they weren't broken up as the Judge ordered, mmm, aren't we finding that true now?) canceled the fine.

    So don't be mad at Apple. The most vile corporation this country has ever seen has gotten off with much worse.
    ShazAmerica
    • It's not about Bush or MS

      It is about the fact that the current administration campaigned on the notion that they woul be more principled than the previous administration. Benghazi, NSA spying, drone attacks, and corporate favors...there is no difference...
      otaddy
  • The Patent System is Broken

    The patent system is broken, and everybody knows it. Congress is useless. You could swap out every congressman for a overdosed heroin addict with a needle still hanging from his arm and no one would notice any difference. They couldn't care less about the country. They're only thinking about their next high. I'm no fan of Apple, but I applaud the Administration for this action. Hopefully this won't be the last time they overrule such an anti-competitive, anti-consumer decision.
    dsf3g
  • Zach, what's up with this

    The letter, as reproduced, does not actually say Samsung "was still entitled to a remedy", as you interpreted in your penultimate paragraph.

    Rather, it clearly states Samsung are entitled to *pursue* a remedy... which the courts could decide either way.
    PScooter63
  • "ubiquitous broadband deployment"

    "AT&T petitioned the Government on behalf of Apple's case stating that this ban would be "...inconsistent with the president's goal of ubiquitous broadband deployment." "

    One can only wonder if this "ubiquitous broadband deployment" is not in fact a reference to the "Obama Phone" thus making the "iPhone" the "Official Welfare Phone"?

    So much for "Apples'" "snob appeal"!
    Mujibahr
  • This is.... this is ... What is this?

    So not having to pay a dime and still use technology that is not theirs with no such repercussions, how unjust. I will be rather distraught if a one Mr. Cook did not exploit the hand of pocket aces he has been dealt and milk this "cow" for all it is worth.
    sapphire_rage