ITC issues 'limited' import ban on iPhones, iPads for violating Samsung patent

The U.S. International Trade Commission has issued a limited import ban on some Apple products after ruling the iPhone and iPad maker violated a Samsung patent.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a limited import ban and a cease and desist order for some iPhones and iPads, following a patent infringement battle with Samsung.

According to the ITC notice [PDF], the U.S. import ban affects the AT&T versions of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPad 2 3G devices. The ban means that Apple in the U.S. cannot import these products, as they are manufactured elsewhere in the world, notably China. 

The cease and desist order also prohibits Apple from selling and distributing the infringing models. The decision went in Samsung's favor based on a single patent — U.S. Patent No. 7,706,348, which is owned by Samsung — that included Apple's "wireless communications devices" and "portable music and data processing devices."

However, the ITC ruled that three other Samsung patents were not infringed by Apple.

The Commission said in its ruling that it had "determined that the public interest factors [...] do not preclude issuance of the limited exclusion order and cease and desist order."

The final ruling can however be overturned by the Federal Circuit Court or the White House.

The news was reported on Reuters and Bloomberg wires on Tuesday after the markets closed. Apple ($AAPL) was trading down more than 1 percent in after hours trading on the Nasdaq.

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