Obama overturns ban on older Apple products in the US


Administration vetoes decision due to its effect on competitive conditions in the US economy and concern about the use of essential patents in litigation

The President Obama administration has overturned a ban on sales of some Apple iPhone and iPad models in the US.

In June, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) had ruled that Apple infringed a patent of Samsung, which was related to 3G and the ability to transmit multiple services correctly and simultaneously.

The ITC had ordered imports and sales of the iPhone 3, 3GS and 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G sold on the AT&T network to be stopped.

However, Obama’s trade representative Michael Froman has now vetoed that decision because of its “effect on competitive conditions in the US economy” and concern from the administration about the use of essential patents in litigation.

When the ITC orders imports of products into the US to be banned, they are subject to review from Obama, who has 60 days to veto the decision.

According to the BBC, Apple applauded Obama “for standing up for innovation”, and added: “Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.”

Samsung responded with: “The ITC’s decision correctly recognised that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a licence.”

It is the latest patent dispute between the two companies. Last August, a court ruled that Samsung owed Apple $1 billion in damages after it found 14 of its products infringed Apple’s intellectual property. The award was later slashed to $598.9 million in March, with an appeal in the case due to be heard soon.