The Obama administration over the weekend vetoed a previous ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission that banned the import and sale of older models of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The ban was initially granted back in June after Samsung accused Apple of patent infringement.
Provisions of the ban stated the administration had 60 days to review the decision and step in if necessary. The import and sales ban was scheduled to go into effect on Monday before the Obama administration intervened. This marks the first time an administration has intervened on a matter like this since 1987.
Specifically, it was U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that ultimately disagreed with the earlier ruling and made the call over the weekend. He noted the decision was based on the effect it would have on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on the U.S. consumers.
Following the decision, Samsung said they were disappointed that the U.S. Trade Representative decided to set aside the previously issued exclusion order. They said the ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license.
Apple said in a statement that they applaud the administration for standing up for innovation in the landmark case. Furthermore, they believe Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in such a way.
Froman said Samsung could continue to pursue patent rights through the courts if they choose to.