President Obama Vetoes ITC Product Ban On Older Apple iPhones And iPads

Obama loves Apple

The Obama administration has vetoed a product ban on older Apple devices that was proposed by the U.S. International Trade Commission in June. Apple was found guilty of infringing a Samsung wireless patent, and the ITC declared a sales ban on iOS devices older than the iPhone 4S and third-gen iPad.

Trade Representative Michael Froman issued the veto for the executive branch today, marking the first time a presidential administration has vetoed a product ban by the ITC since 1987.

The only devices that were truly affected by the ban were the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4, since Apple still sells those models. They likely won’t be sold for much longer anyway, but the president’s decision to veto supports Apple’s argument that the ITC’s proposed ban was unjustified.

“We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case,” said Apple in a statement to AllThingsD. “Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.” Samsung said it was “disappointed” in the veto and that Apple was unwilling to license the patent.

  • Adrayven

    Beh, for once, and once only, the White House got this one right. This would have created a lot of problems with FRAND patents if this was allowed; not just for Apple. It would have opened the pandora’s box of lawsuits, one where every company’s uncle would start suing to block competitors rather than play nice..

    They were correct in this decision .. ITC should have focused on what others were paying Samsung for the FRAND patent and had Apple pay the same and be done with it.. This was so much more complicated than it needed to be.

  • Gregory Wright

    Speaking of Pandora’s box, looking into the future, what will this mean for Apple in others countries where it attempts to ban products. Will these countries say since the U.S. did not ban Apple why should we ban a product Apple wants banned.

  • aardman

    in his letter to the ITC, Froman issued a two item guidance to the ITC on how to handle future SEP cases. Basically it says “do your homework so you don’t screw up on SEP and FRAND licensing disputes anymore.”

  • bigpicture

    So did Obama dump all his Samsung shares. Probably loaded up on Apple stock. Who is it that checks for this “insider” conflict of interest?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a journalist and co-host of The CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." He lives in Lexington, Kentucky. If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Follow him on Twitter.

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