The Wall Street Journal reports the Obama administration has vetoed the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) product ban on older iPhones and iPads from Apple, a ruling made via the ongoing patent litigation between the latter and Samsung:
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the decision to veto the ban on the Apple devices, citing concerns about patent holders gaining “undue leverage” as well as potential harm to consumers and competitive conditions in the U.S. economy.
He said Samsung could continue to pursue its patent rights through the courts.
Apple responded with a statement to AllThingsD, citing their approval of this ruling and lambasted Samsung for their abuse of the patent system:
“We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way,”
Meanwhile, as expected Samsung was disappointed about the decision made by the Obama administration, which marked the first time since 1987 a president had vetoed an import ban ruled by the U.S. ITC. Samsung will be unable to appeal the veto but can continue the battle against Apple in court:
“We are disappointed that the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to set aside the exclusion order issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license.”
In early June, the U.S. ITC slapped a ban on the AT&T iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2G as these iOS devices had violated a Samsung standard-essential patent related to encoding and decoding a particular wireless protocol.
The Obama administration stepped in to veto the ITC ruling one day before the ban was set to be imposed on August 4, 2013. Last week, the trade group BSA, which includes the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, AT&T and Verizon, voiced their concerns to say the use of essential industry patents to ban products should not be allowed, which Samsung was doing. Looks like the US Federal Government agrees with the decision to veto the ITC ruling.