How the ITC blew it, forcing a presidential veto in the Samsung-Apple patent case

“His dissent was heavily redacted and buried in a long official filing,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “But everything you need to know about how the U.S. International Trade Commission blew it when it granted Samsung’s request for an import ban on five Apple’s devices — forcing the first Presidential veto of one of its decisions in a quarter century — is contained in the opinion filed by Dean Pinkert, one of the ITC’s six commissioners.”

P.E.D. reports, “Pinkert, a George W. Bush appointee, laid out in careful detail why his fellow commissioners were wrong to order Apple to cease and desist selling those five products — including a version of the iPhone 4 that is still one of the company’s most popular — on the strength of Samsung’s complaint.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple: ‘Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system’ – August 5, 2013 – August 5, 2013
Obama administration vetoes Apple iPhone sales ban in U.S. – August 3, 2013
Google ready to ditch Android over its intellectual property issues? – July 29, 2013


  1. Wow, I read this and find it incredible, that were these facts and circumstances made available to the other commissioners,it would really seem to be an act of gross negligence on the part the other commissioners to find on behalf of Samsung.

    1. It was indeed “an act of gross negligence”. Also known as, “US shoots itself in foot, stops blood loss with big bandage”.

      Those responsible at the ITC need to have their shooters taken away and given to someone more responsible. Or in other words, FIRED.

    2. Indeed, Chaz. Dean Pinkert’s dissent was well-written and well delivered. If Apple did not use this defense against Samsung, then it should fire its lawyers. If Apple legal did use this defense, then the USITC utterly failed in its decision. Someone clearly screwed up.

  2. The article suggests that ITC ordered the ban knowing full well that it was not right, to force the presidential veto so it would send a stronger signal against FRAND abuse that they ever could. They gambled away their reputation and future decisive power in the process though.

    1. I strongly doubt Qualcomm supported the ban. It’s Qualcomm’s baseband chip in the phone that contains the patent in question. Qualcomm has licensed that patent from Samsung already, so what’s in it for them if some iPhones are banned? Some lost sales is what. Ain’t buyin that.

      1. Qualcomm supported the ban because it holds many FRAND patents and in it’s own way, leverages them however it feels it can get away… Basically this veto say to all FRAND patent holders : you were granted FRAND patents to advance the industry standards and innovation, in return you need to and have agreed to license them fairly, reasonably and without discrimination to all industry players.

        Qualcomm no longer has any negotiating leverage for FRAND patents.

          1. I think that once a higher level court affirms the President’s decision, for instance when Samdung sues, then you can safely assume that FRAND “can no longer be used to extort rights to private patents.”

  3. They didn’t blow it, someone at ITC got rich off of Samsung (yes, I think someone got bribed,) and now president’s veto put everything in the right place

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