Apple Will Appeal ITC Import Ban on Older iPhones, iPads

Published on June 4, 2013
by John Paczkowski

An unexpected victory for Samsung in its patent battle with Apple. The United States International Trade Commission on Tuesday granted the South Korean company’s request for import ban on older iPhones and iPads which it found to infringe one of Samsung’s standards-essential patents.

The ITC’s order affects only AT&T iPhones prior to the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 and earlier, so it’s not a devastating blow to Apple. Still, a ban is a ban, and this one can only be overturned by the White House or the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. That it was ordered at all is something of a shock. In an initial review of the case, an ITC judge found that Apple’s products did not infringe Samsung’s patents.

“We are disappointed that the Commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told AllThingsD. “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, meanwhile, praised the ruling.

“We believe the ITC’s Final Determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations,” Samsung said in a statement to AllThingsD. “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.”

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