Obama Administration vetoes ITC’s US sales ban on Apple products

By , Aug 3, 2013

obama_ipad

Huge news out of Washington this afternoon, as reports are coming in that President Obama has stepped in and vetoed the ITC’s decision to place a US import ban on a handful of Apple’s older iOS devices. The ban came after the International Trade Commission found some of Apple’s products infringed on 2 Samsung cellular patents.

The ruling was handed down on June 4, and exclusion orders were sent to the White House, giving Obama’s Administration 60 days to veto the ban based on “public policy.” And that 60-day deadline would’ve ended soon, but it looks like the President has heeded to the requests of Verizon, AT&T and others to overturn the ITC’s decision…

Here’s an excerpt from a letter sent to the ITC by US trade representative Michael Froman :

“I have reviewed the various policy considerations set out above based on the information provided in the case, including information developed in connection with the Commission’s determination. Although the parties dispute the facts vigorously, it is beyond the scope of this policy review to revisit the Commission’s legal analysis or its findings based on its record.

After extensive consultations with the agencies of the Trade Policy Staff Committee and the Trade Policy Review Group, as well as other interested agencies and persons, I have decided to disapprove the USITC’s determination to issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order in this investigation. This decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations discussed above as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers.”

Had Obama not intervened, a US sales ban would have gone into effect on August 5th for the following devices: iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, the iPad 2 3G, and the 3G version of the original iPad. Newer products would not have been affected because they use a different chipset, which does not infringe upon Samsung’s cellular patents.

AllThingsD has a statement from Apple on the White House’s decision: “We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.” And there must be some truth to that, because this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often—the last time was in 1987.

We’ve embedded Froman’s full letter to the ITC regarding the President’s veto below:

Be sure to let us know what you think of the President’s decision below!

Update: Samsung has just provided a statement on the matter to AllThingsD:

“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.”

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  • Supafly_Boy

    Take that Samsung!

  • Sputnik09

    BOOM!

    • Kurt

      hammer and sickle, the obama symbol

      • Sputnik09

        It is MY symbol… As a matter of fact I really don’t like much of that dude’s policy.

      • Hyr3m

        if only our corrupt plutocratic leaders had “true” communist ideals we might have a chance…

        Although “true” communism is somewhat impossible with humans especially in this eon of exacerbated individualism.

        In that sense Obama is a bit like Hitler : a manipulated pawn in a game where both sides of both sides are controlled by the same organization (or used/betrayed by it). (Could be simplified as “Republican & Democrats vs Laic Despots & Islamic Terrorists”)

  • Maxim∑

    Korean company tries to ban products from an American company = nope

    • Jackson Grong

      Apple is right, Samsung is trying to make them pay a fee based on a basic 3G patent, that should be free by law.

      • CPVideoMaker101

        Let’s rephrase it from another point of view:
        “Samsung is right, Apple is trying to make them pay a fee based on a basic design patent, that should be free by law.” Let’s not be hypocrites, please.

      • Yaseen AlSuwaidan

        It is a basic design. However, Shamesung is using the whole design, not just the basic shape design.

      • CPVideoMaker101

        I just don’t us to have a badly painted picture of us fanboys. I know samsung copies, but everyone copies each other in a capitalist economy. I tried touchwiz and it’s not that similar to iOS anymore. I try to be open minded. Android is quite good when you modify some stuff, but there is some work to be done. This also applies to any other system, even iOS. My point accorss, let’s not be a stereotype.

      • Yaseen AlSuwaidan

        Yes, this is if i was talking about OS. However, I’m talking about hardware. Back in 2007, no one dare to buy a Samsung device, and why would they?

        the first device, people started to buy, was Galaxy S. And it was a clear copy of iPhone.

        The deference between Apple’s copy and Samsung’s Copy is that Apple is copying features, but Samsung is copying a design. Both copying, though.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        “Back in 2007, no one dare to buy a Samsung device…”

        Did you start taking a note of your surroundings just after the iPhone was released? Please stop with the fanboy idiocracy. Years before the iPhone, people were still making mobile phone calls. The first phone I owned was a Samsung SGH-E250.

        Apple is no different than any other tech company, in terms of invention (http://bit ly/13tVo4n). They just hypocritically sue others who dare to advance on their technology, like they did to other companies technology.

      • Yaseen AlSuwaidan

        Yes, I was not dead back in 2007. At least in the middle east, Nokia was the biggest mobile company. Samsung was not even near big compared to Nokia.

        And, you said “SGH-E250″

        Are you crazy enough to compare it with iPhone? Loooool

        Samsung did not enter the smartphone field until Apple did. It is a fact. So, stop being ignorant and wave with “the fanboy idiocracy” thing in every ignorant comment.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Who’s comparing it to the iPhone dummy? I just said it was my first phone and it’s a Samsung device, where do you see comparison in that sentence? Improve on those english comprehension skills of yours, numbskull…

        “Samsung did not enter the smartphone field until Apple did”

        Where’s your proof of that? Herd master Apple told you? A little google search reveals the following image before the iPhone. Just ’cause some of them had physical keyboards doesn’t make them dumb back in the day. Learn to research instead of just ignoramusly accepting what your herd master tells you…

      • Hyr3m

        So a dumbphone is not a “device” ? You said “device” yourself so don’t blame others for your lack of precision if this is not really what you meant.

        Apple infringed on TECHNOLOGY, not a stupid design (outer rectangular shape vaguely resembling) drawing.

        Imagine you’re Korean and invent the next generation of 3D fractal antennae or a new data transmission protocol or compression/encryption method or a revolutionary potato peeler. You sell these peelers on the american market. Then I come along and buy one of your products, copy it and add a corkscrew/bottle opener then sell it as a “combo-peeler” without paying you any sort of licensing fees. You come to me to discuss licensing terms and I decline every offer you make and still cash in a lot of money on your patent without giving you a dime.

        Then you sue me and the Obama administration (because he didn’t do that himself, contrary to what the blog post is suggesting) vetoes the ruling that my Chinese-made combo-peelers should be banned from importation in the US because of patent infringement on the (somewhat misogynistic) basis that “Every american wife should be able to open a bottle of beer or wine for their husband while peeling apples in order to cook an american patriotic apple pie! – Oh, and with the same tool! Yeee-haw!” (Yeah I know it’s not Bush anymore and it usually comes out as political bs but from a Korean point of view it prolly doesn’t make a difference and that’s what anyone with a brain can read through the “politically correct” bs anyway).

        How would you like that ? Does that sound fair to you ?
        We’re either in a somewhat liberal capitalistic plutocracy or we’re not… Double standards ftw!

      • CPVideoMaker101

        Everyone copies everyone in everything, let’s just stop worrying about what Samsung does and support our own device. Better to love than hate.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    What is U.S. law?

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Sticks and stones may break your bones, but Samsung can never ban an Apple product

    • Kurt

      what’s the constitution? what’s privacy? What are laws?

  • Bambino

    America!

  • Boss

    Would never get banned US makes too much Tax from Apple goods

    • sumaritan

      more like… politicians make way too much money from Apple

    • cunotherside

      Great and so TRUE, it’s all about MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY.

    • Hyr3m

      Not really; Apple is doing all it can to not pay US taxes but still the US want to protect the hand that doesn’t want to feed them. (Except of course if we talk about the people that actually matter in these decisions that do get fed by Apple (pun intended). Personally I’m fed up with Apple but that’s another story…)

  • Justin Rowe

    Did anyone honestly think there would be a US ban on a US product.
    That’s what I love about America, you look after your own.

    • Kurt

      and go abroad and kill millions to “free nations”

    • Hyr3m

      So if someone’s brother steals all of your money you’ll be happy for him when his brother hides and protect him from the law and/or your wrath ?

      International law be damned.
      Honesty be damned.
      Freedom be damned. (remember your freedom stops where other people’s freedom begins)
      Democracy be damned. (never really existed anyway)
      Creativity be damned. (people will steal your ideas and make money off them anyway)

      Congratulations on being a blind sheep.

      Btw, how is a “made in China” product actually “a US product” ?
      If it were a US product it wouldn’t need to be afraid of having its US imports banned.

  • Ted Forbes

    Thank goodness for an administration that understand technology. I think the old heads would have played old politics with this and the apple seed company (Samsung) would have defeated the fruit company. At-lease that is the way it would have appeared to be. One more up for Apple. One more for Obama, One more for them dern dems. Yay!

    • Kurt

      obama loves you, he wants you to drink more flouride, not to look up at the chemtrails, don’t mind the militarizing of the police, the police need machine guns, fast n furious, whats that? bengazi? Who is he anyway? as Dictator Obama pays the media, know its done in love. Yes, lets thank the racist Obama.

  • greedlock

    beautiful !
    glorious display of capitalism for our entertainment.

    Apple is finally getting something back in return for the millions of dollars they pay politicians through lobbying in washington.

    samsung: we invented this technology, and would like those who will benefit from it to pay a fee, to defray our research costs and as a reward for our hard work.

    apple: if you say so… but you cannot ask for more than we are willing to pay you. the buyer should always be able to dictate how much they pay for something. case in point: look at our cheaply-priced iPhones and iPads. and since we barely break-even selling those devices, we just simply can’t afford to pay the extra few cents you’re asking.

    samsung: fine! we’ll resort to legal action, just like you did in your efforts to prove that only apple had the right to make phones in rectangular shape .

    apple: you think you can win a case against an american company in its own backyard? good luck with that! and even if you did win, you have no idea how much we pay the people who can overturn these legal decisions.
    so you can suck it, samsung!

    • JT

      This feels like reality. I would like to know how much the fee was for each device

      • Guest

        Well the CDIA values a pirated song at $150,000/copy….so if that’s the going conversion rate I think $82.5 million dollars per iPhone sounds pretty fair.

  • Gagan Mohal

    This war is starting to bore the hell out of me.

  • JT

    Im confused. Other newspapers and media says it was fromans decision. Not obama himself. And the letter seems to be froman doing all the talking. Where does obama come in?

    • Hyr3m

      Newspapers and Media have actual journalists (although that could be seen as a bad thing), this is a blog.

      Look at who wrote this and read other blog posts by Ed and Christian for example if you don’t see what I mean… I truly wonder how they can dare call themselves journalists… (Like that would be a good thing anyway…)

  • jose carlos

    MONEY TALKS!

    • s0me

      and bullsh*t walks !

  • 5ingularity

    Obama uses blackberry lol

  • CPVideoMaker101

    I like how we are all happy that the iPhone didn’t get banned but we still do the same towards Samsung, I think it’s time to press less not give a shit about patents now to stop begin hypocrites, this is why android fan-boys hate us ._. PLEASE.

    • Kurt

      Hate patents. tech patents shouldn’t last more than 5 years. if I were dictator obama, thats what I would change.

      • CPVideoMaker101

        He technically isn’t a dictator becuase we elected him to represent us. But I agree with ya’. Anyway, money talks here, so it’s more of an indirect dictatorship of rich people. ‘MURICA

    • BoardDWorld

      Lets get it straight, Samsung was nothing. The only reason they are something is thanks to the GS 1. They completely road off the backs of Apple to form an established name then veered off into devices that could be more distinguished as their own. In doing so superseding HTC which is a far higher quality device.

      Now the sheep of this world really are those who buy Samsung devices. Why else would you ignore all the obvious warning signs. Samsungs CEO being charged with fraud, the above, spoofing benchmarks, dishing out spyware infested “free” songs.

      Instead of making a metal body device or something outside of plastic they gave you they pretty well the same device and will instead spend billions worldwide in advertising bringing in even more sheep over a couple of air gestures.

      The honest fact is well before they were making Smartphones they produced nothing but crap. My own experience was LCD’s blew as fast as incandescent light bulbs, cameras failed halfway through warranty and again just outside of warranty and so on.

      You do realise Koreans themselves aren’t so dumb as to be fooled. That’s because they’ve had years to know about spending hard earned cash on Samsung phones only to have them superseded in a few short months with absolutely no updates in site, made obsolete…

      For me, it’s a big hand to the Obama administration & a rewarding grin at Samsung getting kicked in the gut…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Stopped reading at “Samsung was nothing”. Total fanboy idiocracy…

      • BoardDWorld

        Yet I’m backing the Ubuntu Edge. I’m not a fanboy of any device. Stop where you like, truth hurts.

      • Hyr3m

        When you start a long comment that might hold truth with a stupid statement (or just plain wrong), people tend to overlook the quality of the rest… I did the same as him… I stopped reading there (actually, at the second sentence, that one confirms your ignorance) because I made the assumption that the rest of the comment would be just as dumb and devoid of facts.