US Trade Representative Vetoes Ban on Apple iPhone, iPad Patent

Overruled judge's ruling that Apple violated Samsung's patents


A ban on sales of older models of Apple's iPad and iPhone in the US has been overturned by the Obama administration.

In June, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Apple infringed a patent of rival Samsung.

President Barack Obama's trade representative has now vetoed that decision because of its "effect on competitive conditions in the US economy".


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  1. Anyone who knows a bit about this able to say if/how shady this move was by Obama?

    1. It’s complicated.

      There’s a lot of debate over whether owners of so-called standard essential patents (SEPs) should be able to get an import ban or injunction against infringers.

      The Obama admin seems to be on the side against being able to seek injunctions (a proposed [accepted? — can’t remember] FTC settlement with Google stipulated that they not do so with Motorola’s patents]). This could just be a manifestation of that policy.

      It could also be protectionism using that as an excuse. It’s hard to say.

      Whether or not it’s shady is complicated by the fact that the ITC is court-like but not part of the judiciary. So it’s not like the Obama admin is trying to overrule a court decision.

      Also, IIRC the last time an admin has stepped in to overrule the ITC on an import ban was in the late ’80s. So the fact that this is rare makes it seem a bit shady.

      1. ToW,
        Under the rule of following the money (power for politicos), who is benefiting?

        1. Apple and Microsoft

          1. So it might be lobbying pressure, but any benefit to Obama is indirect?
            I guess it’s possible that some decision by Obama might not be totally corrupt.

            1. TBH I doubt Obama was involved in the decision if he was even notified of it at all.

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