Thanks to Samsung and the International Trade Commission, Apple will be banned from importing the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 into the United States from Sunday, August 4. The Cupertino company has been trying to fight the ban since it was confirmed last October, but it’s had little success.
Now it is seeing unlikely support from Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle, which all agree that the use of standards-essential patents to ban products should not be allowed.
“BSA, a trade group representing software makers including Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. and chip maker Intel Corp., said the use of essential industry patents to ban products shouldn’t be allowed except under unusual circumstances,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
“Intel is scheduled to testify at the Senate hearing and previously filed its concerns with the ITC.”
In addition to this, AT&T has also voiced its support for Apple, and argued that the ban will eliminate a low-cost iPhone option for AT&T customers. The carrier also points out that the ban is “inconsistent with the president’s goal of ubiquitous broadband deployment.”
Last week, Verizon attorney Randall Milch wrote an open letter to President Obama, encouraging the White House to step in and overturn the ban before it goes into affect next week. That’s despite the fact that the ban will not not affect Verizon — which sells the CDMA iPhone 4 — but rivals like AT&T, which sell the banned GSM model.
Apple has also had support from antitrust officials and the Federal Trade Commission, all of which feel that companies should not be unfairly using standards-essential patents to restrict competition.
Unfortunately for Apple, the White House is the only power than can step in and overturn the ban at this point. The last time that happened was in 1987.
Source: The Wall Street Journal