Apple to appeal U.S. import ban on older iPhones and iPads

iphone 4 on table blacked out

Apple’s legal fight against Samsung yesterday took a turn for the worse with the United States International Trade Comission (ITC) rather surprisingly having found the iPhone maker guilty of infringing on a 3G cellular patent asserted by Samsung. This means Apple is now facing a U.S. import ban on older iPhone and iPad models, including the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS and 3G iPads.

The ban should go into effect within 60 days unless vetoed by the White House during a Presidential Review period. In light of the development, Apple of course plans on appealing the ruling because Samsung’s invention is basically a standards-essential patent and as such shouldn’t be asserted against rivals to seek import bans…

The ruling can only be be overturned by the White House or the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Bloomberg explains that the president can overturn the ruling “on public-policy grounds, though that rarely happens.”

Keep in mind that the iPhone accounts for over half of Apple’s revenue and considering the ban could delay other Apple products.

John Paczkowski over at AllThingsD has a statement by an Apple spokesperson:

We are disappointed that the Commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal. Today’s decision has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States. Samsung is using a strategy which has been rejected by courts and regulators around the world.

They’ve admitted that it’s against the interests of consumers in Europe and elsewhere, yet here in the United States Samsung continues to try to block the sale of Apple products by using patents they agreed to license to anyone for a reasonable fee.

Samsung’s take:

We believe the ITC’s Final Determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations. Our decades of research and development in mobile technologies will continue, and we will continue to offer innovative products to consumers in the United States.

And this to Korea’s Yonhap News:

ITC’s decision made it clear that Apple has made an unauthorized use of Samsung’s patents. We will do our best to defend our intellectual property rights.

Wait, Apple has a “history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations?”

And they have the face to accuse Apple of copying one patent which should have been licensed on reasonable terms anyway!

Samsung must have forgotten that the August 2012 ruling found them liable of infringing on numerous Apple patents.