Apple Product Ban Overturned By Obama Administration

Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It looks like older, cheaper Apple technology won't be going anywhere for the time being. 

A ban on selling older Apple products in the U.S.— including the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 — was overturned by President Obama over the weekend.  The decision to shutdown the ban marks the first presidential veto of an International Trade Commission decision in 25 years. 

Set to go into effect on August 5, the ban was the latest result of the ongoing patent battle between tech giants Apple Inc. and Samsung. In June, Apple was found guilty of infringing on a necessary Samsung patent that helps phones connect to wireless networks. 

As punishment for infringement, the ITC determined that Apple would have had to stop importing and selling several of its older (but still highly profitable) products available on the AT&T and T-mobile networks.

The patent in question is considered "standard essential." That means companies like Apple are forced to use another company's patented technology in order for critical features like wireless or 4G to work properly on their phones, tablets, and other devices. Because companies have no real option when it comes to using the technology or creating something similar, the company with the patent must allow licensing at what is determined to be a fair price.

In order to make use of the patent for connecting with wireless networks, Samsung requested compensation of $18 per device, an amount Apple deemed ridiculous.  

Now, the Obama administration has shutdown the plan to ban the the sale of older Apple devices, saying that it would have an unwanted "effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy." 

Samsung expressed disappointment with the decision, and leaders in South Korea emphasized the expectation of fair treatment when a similar matter comes up at the end of the week. On Friday, the ITC will make a decision about banning the sale of some Samsung Galaxy products in the U.S. for infringing on patents held by Apple. 





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