On August 5, a sales ban was set to go into effect on some older Apple iPhones and iPads. It was due to a ruling in June by the U.S. International Trade Commission on an intellectual property dispute between Apple and Samsung. The ITC ruled that Apple had infringed on some of Samsung’s patents. The Obama Administration had 60 days to look over the ITC decision and could decide to intervene, but most people thought that wouldn’t’ happen. Why? Because that hadn’t happened in 26 years. It did happen, though, and the Obama Administration vetoed the June ITC ruling.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in the veto that it was based upon the effect the ITC’s ruling would have had on the “competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers.” He didn’t feel that the ITC’s ruling would promote “innovation and economic progress.”
Apple was pleased with veto, as it obviously was favorable for them. Samsung, however, was not. The ITC ruling, Samsung felt, was correct because Apple still refuses to take a license to use the patents. The patents in question center around wireless communications used in older iPhones and iPads. Apples still has these models available to consumers.
The ITC has been used by many technology companies to settle disputes. It can be used in tandem with a lawsuit in the civil court system; however, the ITC case is generally settled much sooner. This usually leads to settlements in the court cases.
Apple and Samsung will still be fighting it out in court, too. The court case that ended last year will hear arguments on permanent injunctions on August 9. There should also be a final ruling from the ITC on Apple’s case against Samsung for patent infringement.
Intellectual property cases do not have to involved corporations the size of Apple and Samsung. No matter what size your company is, you must ensure your company is protected. Contact a California business law attorney if you believe you have an intellectual property case against another company or individual.
news.cnet.com, “Obama vetoes Apple sales ban in U.S.” Josh Lowensohn, Aug. 03, 2013