U.S. ITC rules for Samsung, bans Apple iPhone 4 imports into U.S.

“A U.S. trade agency on Tuesday issued a ban on imports of Apple’s iPhone 4 and a variant of the iPad 2 after finding the devices violate a patent held by South Korean rival Samsung Electronics,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press. “Because the devices are assembled in China, the import would end Apple’s ability to sell them in the U.S.”

“However, President Barack Obama has 60 days to invalidate Tuesday’s order from the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington,” Svensson reports. “Obama is against import bans on the basis of the type of patent at issue in the Samsung case. On Tuesday, the White House issued a recommendation to Congress that it limit the ITC’s ability to impose import bans in these cases.”

Svensson reports, “Apple Inc. said it was ‘disappointed’ with the ruling and will appeal… Apple Inc. said it was ‘disappointed’ with the ruling and will appeal. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple launched the iPad 2 in 2011. The ruling applies only to the version equipped with a cellular modem for AT&T’s network. The ruling also applies to older iPhones, though these are no longer sold by Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Apple will appeal the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and said in a statement that there’s no impact (for the time being) on the availability of iPhones and iPads in the U.S. market,” Florian Müller reports for FOSS Patents.

“I can’t believe that the ITC has completely thrown out Apple’s FRAND defense (‘[t]he Commission has determined that Samsung’s FRAND declarations do not preclude [import bans]’), taking a position that is fundamentally inconsistent not only with how U.S. federal courts have recently adjudged SEP-based injunction requests but also with opinions expressed by antitrust regulators and, especially, U.S. lawmakers,” Müller writes. “With a view to this decision, four Senators and four Congressmen (from both sides of the aisle) reiterated concerns over SEP-based import bans. Last year the Senate and the House of Representatives held hearings on this issue, with bipartisan consensus that holders of SEPs should not be allowed to renege on their FRAND licensing pledges by seeking import bans from the ITC that federal courts would likely deny.”

Müller writes, “The White House earlier today proposed a package of patent reform measures, and the fifth legislative proposal on this list aims to raise the bar for ITC exclusion orders… Under these circumstances it is quite possible that the White House will veto the ITC’s decision, and the ITC could not have done more to show to Congress that its granting of injunctive relief is far too permissive and a threat to the U.S. tech sector, irreconcilable with the ITC’s original mission to protect domestic industry against unfair imports.”

“Depending on how quickly Congress will fix the problem that the ITC gives SEP abusers and patent trolls access to injunctive relief that they wouldn’t win in U.S. federal court, the impact of today’s decision on other cases may be limited,” Müller writes. “But if Congress doesn’t move quickly, other SEP abusers might be able to leverage today’s decision in settlement negotiations with implementers of industry standards.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Surprise, surprise, surprise!

(After reading this ruling, Gomer Pyle immediately sprang to mind.)

Obviously, something’s very broken here and it needs to be fixed ASAP.


    1. Nobody kicks a dead dog. And the USSA under the current POTUS has been “gunnin” for the end of Apple for some time, based on the DOJ, Congressional and even Presidential actions against the company. Ironic when you see that Apple has been predominantly “progressive”, even with Al Gore on the Board.

      Thankfully the iPhone 4 has been “Given away” at zero cost to the consumer, so this “ruling” should not impact Apple very much. It would then really be a non-issue for Apple, correct?
      “Sorry, we can’t offer that particular device to the US consumer. Buy the iPhone 5 instead.”

      1. ….”Thankfully the iPhone 4 has been “Given away” at zero cost to the consumer, “….

        Not exactly. Consumer pays at least $450 for that iPhone 4. There is no upfront cost (i.e. no downpayment) when you buy iPhone 4, but you still end up paying close to $500 over two years of your contract, in the form of subsidy. Apple is most certainly not making these phones, only to give them away for free.

    2. Agree. Wow. US ITC. That’s US screwing its own local boy done good company. Flabbergasted! More proof that USA is run by idiots that wants to destroy this country!

        1. edward, if you had reasoning powers above those of a single-cell organism, then you’d realise that this issue has to do with the radio part of the iP4, which is manufactured by another company, covered by FRAND rules, that Apple were happy to pay a reasonable amount to licence; but the thieving scumsuckers at Samsung demanded Apple pay far more for than other companies using identical technology.
          But you can’t understand that, can you, because you are ignorant and stupid.

  1. Does Eric Holder have relatives in the ITC? That would explain the sheer unadulterated stupidity. What does the ITC not understand about SEP and FRAND? How is this type of judgment even possible or legal?

    1. That’s what u get for loop holing your way around your countries tax system to avoid paying taxes and then have the nerve to
      sit before members of congress with a smirk on your face and in an ignorant difiant manner tell them their tax system is broken and it needs to be simplified so your company can pay even less taxes.

      1. Excuse me, but Apple paid a 27.5% tax rate on the income it earned in the US. It also paid income taxes on the income it earned in each country in which it does business in the rest of the world. The money the hold in Ireland is money that has ALREADY BEEN TAXED, that if they were to bring it into the United State, our archaic tax laws, unlike any other nation on Earth, would require it to be taxed AGAIN at a 35% tax rate. That is why Apple does not want to bring it into the US! They say they would be willing to bring it here (keep in mind this is money earned and already taxed in foreign countries) if the US would change that idiotic tax rate so that Apple could bring its own assets home, money they’ve already earned and been taxed on where it was earned. Why should it be taxed twice???

        1. Apple doesn’t, in fact, pay income tax in each country it does business in.
          Example .. Australia
          Total Sales $6 BILLION AUD
          $1 BILLION AUD sales by Apple Australia on which tax of $28 MILLION AUD was paid.
          $5 BILLION AUD sales by Apple online and retail stores (100% American owned) on which NIL tax was paid.

          % tax to Total sales 0.466%

      2. Oh, incidentally, last year Apple’s total Income Tax bite was 30.5% of the income. Now, do you want to keep saying they don’t pay taxes????also, the claim that GE didn’t pay taxes was a lie also… FactCheck.org and ProPublica, hardly right wing organizations proved that was false

  2. Nothing to worry about. If I remember correctly, Samsung is engaging in FRAND abuse and is looking to damage Apple with unrealistic fees that Apple has argued already pays and would not negotiate.

    What this article doesn’t cover is that Apple has since been selling the 4S and the iPhone 5.

    Hopefully, Apple wins on appeal or Obama comes through on the merit of unfair patent abuse practices.

    1. Anybody pinning their hopes on Obama is barking up the wrong tree. Both Google and Amazon have him in their back pocket. Don’t forget those unflattering things SJ said about him in his autobiography.

  3. Jobs publicly insulted Prez O – why the surprise? You think he only targets small-time Tea Party groups? Tim-boy toy insulted Congress – why the surprise? You think they don’t have time to mess with Apple?

    Fools. Liberty is dead, get used to it. Orwell was right, just off a few decades. Get you minds right ’cause misery is coming!

      1. Well, if this ITC ruling isn’t some kind of conspiracy then what is it? An import ban based on FRAND patents makes no sense. Maybe it’s Obama getting revenge, maybe(and more likely) it’s just Samsung bribing ITC officials. But one thing’s for sure, it ain’t on the level.

    1. Tim-boy toy insulted Congress

      NO. Tim Cook insulted NO ONE. I watched the Senate committee hearings. The people doing the insulting were Carl Levin and John McCain. Carl never managed to ‘SHIFT!’ Apple’s point of view. Instead he managed to insult everyone in the USA with a brain in their head with insistent, vacuous rhetoric. Bravo Tim Cook.

  4. Why should we expect regulatory bodies to act in a reasonable way in this case when it doesn’t in other cases. The same driver is present—guess which one.

  5. Oh we’ll, all my iOS devices r google free now. No YouTube, maps, earth, gmail, or search as well as no search engine I safari. Switched to yahoo…

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