The United States International Trade Commission has found Apple to be in violation of some patents held by Samsung and has placed a limited ban on imports of some Apple products. The affected devices are the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, original iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G which are all being carried by AT&T. The cease and desist order will be sent to President Barack Obama who will have 60 days to veto it before it goes into effect.
The import ban on the said models will result in Apple being unable to sell them in the United States if their appeal fails. This is because they won’t be able to bring in the devices from their manufacturing facilities overseas.
The ITC decision comes from charges made by Samsung that Apple used its cellular data patent in developing previous versions of the iPhone and the iPad. Newer versions of the said models do not use the said technology. Several other patent infringement charges were filed by Samsung however the ITC said that Apple did not provide a strong defense against this charge.
On Apple’s part the company claims that Samsung had previously agreed to patent the said technology under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Under these terms the threat of litigation is averted. The company may use this as their argument when they appeal the case. The company will have to appeal their case to the White House or through a Federal Circuit.
The notice released by the US ITC titled “NOTICE OF THE COMMISSION’S FINAL DETERMINATION FINDING A VIOLATION OF SECTION 337; ISSUANCE OF A LIMITED EXCLUSION ORDER AND A CEASE AND DESIST ORDER; TERMINATION OF THE INVESTIGATION” states that
“Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting respondent Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”), from importing wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers that infringe claims 75-76 and 82-84 of U.S. Patent No. 7,706,348 (“the ’348 patent”). The Commission has also issued a cease and desist order against Apple prohibiting the sale and distribution within the United States of articles that infringe claims 75-76 and 82-84 of the ’348 patent. The Commission has found no violation based on U.S. Patent Nos. 7,486,644 (“the ’644 patent”), 7,450,114 (“the ’114 patent”), and 6,771,980 (“the ’980 patent”). The Commission’s determination is final, and the investigation is terminated.”