Ban on Sale of iPads Overturned by Obama

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In June, some Apple products were banned from importation and sale in the United States by the US International Trade Commission after findings showed that they could violate a patent currently held by Samsung. The products in question were the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 2 3G and iPad 3G. This decision was not without controversy and gathered a lot of media attention, both in the United States and abroad. The ban would have prevented the distribution of these items by AT&T, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications service providers.
However, the ban has been overturned on Saturday, with US Trade Representative Michael Froman stating that the effects of the ban on the American economy and the choices available to consumers was considered in the recent decision. While this recent decision may come as a surprise to some, the Obama administration seems to have taken the stance that cases involving patent infringement should be settled by fines against the offending party, rather than an outright sales ban.
It is rare that the President moves to overturn a ban put in place by the International Trade Commission, but it does happen. The last time such a ban was overturned was back in 1987.
This decision adds to an ongoing dispute between technology giants Apple and Samsung, who have been involved in patent litigation for the past three years. Recent rulings on other continents seem to favor Apple. When a patent infringement suit was brought before Japanese courts in June, the Tokyo District Court issued a ruling in favor of Apple. In January, a court in the Netherlands has ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab designs not infringe patents held by Apple.
According to Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, the company applauds the Obama administration for defending innovation in this case. She went on to say that Samsung is wrongly abusing the patent system.
The decision to overturn the ban doesn’t mean that Apple has won, however. Samsung is free to keep pursuing the case in front of the courts.

In June, some Apple products were banned from importation and sale in the United States by the US International Trade Commission after findings showed that they could violate a patent currently held by Samsung. The products in question were the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 2 3G and iPad 3G. This decision was not without controversy and gathered a lot of media attention, both in the United States and abroad. The ban would have prevented the distribution of these items by AT&T, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications service providers.

However, the ban has been overturned on Saturday, with US Trade Representative Michael Froman stating that the effects of the ban on the American economy and the choices available to consumers was considered in the recent decision. While this recent decision may come as a surprise to some, the Obama administration seems to have taken the stance that cases involving patent infringement should be settled by fines against the offending party, rather than an outright sales ban.

It is rare that the President moves to overturn a ban put in place by the International Trade Commission, but it does happen. The last time such a ban was overturned was back in 1987.

This decision adds to an ongoing dispute between technology giants Apple and Samsung, who have been involved in patent litigation for the past three years. Recent rulings on other continents seem to favor Apple. When a patent infringement suit was brought before Japanese courts in June, the Tokyo District Court issued a ruling in favor of Apple. In January, a court in the Netherlands has ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab designs not infringe patents held by Apple.

According to Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, the company applauds the Obama administration for defending innovation in this case. She went on to say that Samsung is wrongly abusing the patent system.

The decision to overturn the ban doesn’t mean that Apple has won, however. Samsung is free to keep pursuing the case in front of the courts.

 

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