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President Obama vetoes Samsung ban on Apple, Inc. iPhones, iPads

post #1 of 262
Thread Starter 
Acting on behalf of the Obama administration, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced it would veto the ban on older iPhone and iPad models ordered by International Trade Commission.


USTR


Michael Froman was sworn in as United States Trade Representative by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in June. | Source: USTR


According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the decision to veto the ban was made out of concerns about standards essential patents (SEPs) being used to gain "undue leverage."

The ITC ruled to impose the ban in June, and, barring a veto, it was scheduled to take effect on Monday.

The ban, which affected some GSM-versions of older iPad 2 and iPhone 4 models, was based on a patent asserted by Samsung that is key to implementing compatibility with industry standard wireless networks.

Because the patent in question is "standard essential," Samsung had committed to licensing the patented technology under Fair, Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory "FRAND" rates. That made Samsung's attempt to leverage the patent to block Apple's sales via an ITC import ban highly controversial, and out of step with a series of recent legal rulings worldwide. Companies seek ITC bans because they are generally easier to win than sales injunctions granted in federal court.

Apple itself has won an import ban through the ITC, one blocking sales of HTC phones. However, that ban was based on patents that were not standards essential, meaning that HTC could have worked around Apple's patents without its products being rendered incompatible with prevailing industry standards.

The ban was opposed by both a group of U.S. Senators including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.), Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.), and Sen. Jim Risch (R.-Idaho), as well as a consortium of companies including Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Verizon and AT&T, all of whom appealed to the administration to exercise a rare veto.

ITC was "out of step with basic antitrust rules"



Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents noted that "this is the first veto of an ITC ruling in decades, and I believe the ITC's majority opinion was so out of step with basic antitrust rules (such as tying) and its effects would have been so very anticompetitive and anti-innovative that this veto was unfortunately necessary."

He added, "The issue here is not primarily what would have happened to those older iPhones and iPads -- I'm sure Apple could have handled the situation somehow. The problem is that this would have made the ITC the forum of choice for SEP abusers (strategic abusers who want to get away with infringement of non-SEPs as well as overly aggressive monetizers)."

Mueller also explained, "I'm sure that it wasn't an easy decision to veto the only significant win Samsung had scored against Apple in the earth-spanning patent dispute between the two companies, considering the special relationship between the U.S. and South Korea, but the USTR's letter makes very clear that this is not about taking sides with or against any particular company -- it's all about protecting the industry standard-setting system against the abusive pursuit of injunctive relief by certain players."

Samsung itself benefits from the message of the veto, because as Mueller pointed out, the company is currently "defending itself at the ITC against a SEP-based InterDigital complaint."

Obama administration scolds the ITC



Mueller stated that in granting Samsung an SEP import ban, the ITC had "acted in connection with this investigation like a government agency that is out of control." He directed attention to Froman's instructions to the ITC to proceed with caution in parallel cases involving FRAND-pledge SEPs.

The administration instructed the Commission to "examine thoroughly and carefully on its own initiative the public interest issues presented both at the outset of its proceeding and when determining whether a particular remedy is in the public interest" and to heed to "the standards-essential nature of the patent at issue."

Apple hailed the veto, stating "we applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case" and adding that Samsung was "wrong to abuse [the] patent system this way."

Froman said Samsung can continue to pursue its patent rights through the courts.

Update: additional detail on the patent behind Samsung's vetoed ITC sales ban.

post #2 of 262
Yay Obama! Words I thought I'd never say 1wink.gif

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #3 of 262
Obama Rocks!
Now this makes the ITC look like a pile of shit.
Booo ITC!
post #4 of 262
Don't think of it as "saving the iPhone 4." Think of it as a clear message to anyone who would try to abuse FRAND-encumbered patents ever again.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #5 of 262
Yeah Google would be thinking now "why why did we buy Motorola"!
post #6 of 262
what a shameful act of injustice. If you can't beat them with innovation in the market place, and if you can't beat them with litigation in the courtroom, then go running to your President for the hope you paid him enough to do the deed. What about the price fixing Apple? You think Obama will help you out with that as well? Pathetic. Guaranteed to have some backlash with markets outside of the US.
post #7 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevel View Post

what a shameful act of injustice. If you can't beat them with innovation in the market place, and if you can't beat them with litigation in the courtroom, then go running to your President for the hope you paid him enough to do the deed. What about the price fixing Apple? You think Obama will help you out with that as well? Pathetic. Guaranteed to have some backlash with markets outside of the US.

Not as shameful as your comment. Sounds like you don't understand the issue. Perhaps if you didn't you wouldn't be trolling so hard

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #8 of 262
Stevel, riddle me this: Are you truly unaware of the implications of SEP and FRAND, or does the law even matter to you at all? It sounds like you just want bad things to happen to Apple, even when they are unjust. Please tell me I'm wrong.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #9 of 262

Good. Ban Samsung, period.

post #10 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevel View Post

what a shameful act of injustice. If you can't beat them with innovation in the market place, and if you can't beat them with litigation in the courtroom, then go running to your President for the hope you paid him enough to do the deed. What about the price fixing Apple? You think Obama will help you out with that as well? Pathetic. Guaranteed to have some backlash with markets outside of the US.

And how much did Samsung pay you? 2 posts, new account. Very fishy.

post #11 of 262

Finally, some sanity. Although Froman should have acted sooner to send a very clear message to those using FRAND-pledged patents for anti-competitive purposes.

post #12 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Mueller stated that in granting Samsung an SEP import ban, the ITC had "acted in connection with this investigation like a government agency that is out of control." 

 

Sounds like the DOJ in the eBook case.  

post #13 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevel View Post

what a shameful act of injustice. If you can't beat them with innovation in the market place, and if you can't beat them with litigation in the courtroom, then go running to your President for the hope you paid him enough to do the deed. What about the price fixing Apple? You think Obama will help you out with that as well? Pathetic. Guaranteed to have some backlash with markets outside of the US.

 

ITC is not courtroom, its is a regulatory body which is overseen by law by another regulatory body which has now vetoed it.

 

Cant understand how I can be so stupid as to try to talk sense to someone who appears to be totally ignorant of basic legal principles, or just plainly trolling, probably both!

post #14 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post

And how much did Samsung pay you? 2 posts, new account. Very fishy.

Quite agree; only posted this to increase my post numbers, but I didn't join last month!

post #15 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevel View Post

what a shameful act of injustice. If you can't beat them with innovation in the market place, and if you can't beat them with litigation in the courtroom, then go running to your President for the hope you paid him enough to do the deed. What about the price fixing Apple? You think Obama will help you out with that as well? Pathetic. Guaranteed to have some backlash with markets outside of the US.

 

I wonder what your response would have been if it was Samsung products that were getting banned, at the request of Apple. I'm sure you would have been all for the ban, as you are now, right? Wrong. What a hypocritical, transparent troll you are. Also, the only reason Apple is being dragged through the mud by the US gvt (ie. ridiculous ebook case) is that they DON'T pay off the gvt enough. Apple has a much smaller lobbying footprint than any of its competitors. But I'm sure you also don't care about little facts like that. Not to mention you don't seem to have a clue what the ITC is and how it functions, preferring instead to spew verbal diarrhea without an ounce of knowledge. I don't understand why people like you can't just enjoy using whatever products by whatever companies you like, instead of signing up on message boards focused on companies/products you hate in order to obsessively post attacks. I'd feel like an incredibly pathetic individual if I ever did that. 


Edited by Slurpy - 8/3/13 at 3:04pm
post #16 of 262
About time American government stood up for American companies. Now going to donate to Obama's Demorcratic pro business party! Hillary 2016.
post #17 of 262
This is great news! A good call from Obama and justice for Apple.
post #18 of 262
Nice to see that this Administration is finally showing some testicular fortitude.
post #19 of 262
The President sent a clear message

"Don't pay FRAND patents, it's fine. The amount of R&D that went into creating the patent is irrelevant. Just continue using other people IP without compensating the inventor"

That's what this forum would sound like if Apple actually created any technology that would be worth FRAND status.
post #20 of 262
Looks like Obama has a free life time supply of iPhones to look forward too, that's the least Apple could do.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #21 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Yeah Google would be thinking now "why why did we buy Motorola"!

 

The Three Stooges - Larry, Eric, and Sergei - are getting ready to jump out the window !! 

post #22 of 262
Google is evil but Samsung is crooked to the core.
I am glad this band got vetoed.

All they can do now is wait for new Apple products to copy.
post #23 of 262
Was this legal? I mean, it was right, given that Apple should never have been "banned" in the first place, but was it legal to overturn?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #24 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

The President sent a clear message

"Don't pay FRAND patents, it's fine. The amount of R&D that went into creating the patent is irrelevant. Just continue using other people IP without compensating the inventor"

That's what this forum would sound like if Apple actually created any technology that would be worth FRAND status.


I don't know enough about the American patent system to comment on it but I really dislike that this ever happened to begin with. The same with the suit against Samsung, I hope it get's dropped in appeals.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #25 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

The President sent a clear message

"Don't pay FRAND patents, it's fine. The amount of R&D that went into creating the patent is irrelevant. Just continue using other people IP without compensating the inventor"

That's what this forum would sound like if Apple actually created any technology that would be worth FRAND status.
If Apple abused the system by refusing to license their FRAND patent in a fair manner, then I would not fault the president for vetoing a decision that was in Apple's favor. The case was not a matter of intellectual property theft, it was Apple fighting against Samsung's extortionary measures.
post #26 of 262

That is great news.  Now my ObamaPhone does not have to be Android.  Woo hoo !

post #27 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Was this legal? I mean, it was right, given that Apple should never have been "banned" in the first place, but was it legal to overturn?
It should be legal. It's not like Samsung won't have other means of recourse. They can still pursue the matter, it could still result in a settlement between the two companies. Samsung is just without a national product ban to hang over Apple's head as penalty for not agreeing to more generous licensing terms. All the president did was take the product ban off the table.
post #28 of 262
It was stated cogently and simply by a former FTC Commissioner in the WSJ: "Jon Leibowitz, who led the agency during the Google case, said Saturday's veto would benefit consumers and promote innovation. 'When a company agrees to license what is known as a standard-essential patent at fair and reasonable terms, it shouldn't be able to ban importation of a product into the United States simply because it wants a better deal,' he said."

That's all.
post #29 of 262

Finally someone with a clue.  The ITC was dead wrong on there ban.  Good job on the veto.  Justice does really exist in this country.

post #30 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Was this legal? I mean, it was right, given that Apple should never have been "banned" in the first place, but was it legal to overturn?

 

Do some basic research into how these things work. Yes, completely legal.  It wasn't a court ruling. Obama really had little to do with it. It was a decision fully within the powers of the U.S. Trade Representative, who overruled the US International Trade Commission.

post #31 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevel View Post

what a shameful act of injustice. If you can't beat them with innovation in the market place, and if you can't beat them with litigation in the courtroom, then go running to your President for the hope you paid him enough to do the deed. What about the price fixing Apple? You think Obama will help you out with that as well? Pathetic. Guaranteed to have some backlash with markets outside of the US.

No, not really.  This is a good and smart thing that was done, for various reasons including economic ones.

-QAMF

Active on S}A forums.  S|A student level subscriber.  Don't claim to know what is in the articles.

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Active on S}A forums.  S|A student level subscriber.  Don't claim to know what is in the articles.

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post #32 of 262

Common sense at last!! 

post #33 of 262

I'm still unclear about what this is actually all about. So Samsung has a patent on something related to 3G GSM technology that Apple used in early versions of the iPhone and iPad. Did Apple refuse to pay royalties on this patent or did Samsung refuse to license it? Did Samsung offer to license to Apple but at rates far higher than other licensees were paying? Is this patent really subject to FRAND or not? Why has this gotten to this point? Who's really the bad guy here? Apple or Samsung? 

post #34 of 262
Finally, Obama shows some balls and leadership.

I voted for him. And he has been missing in action until now.
post #35 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'm still unclear about what this is actually all about. So Samsung has a patent on something related to 3G GSM technology that Apple used in early versions of the iPhone and iPad. Did Apple refuse to pay royalties on this patent or did Samsung refuse to license it? Did Samsung offer to license to Apple but at rates far higher than other licensees were paying? Is this patent really subject to FRAND or not? Why has this gotten to this point? Who's really the bad guy here? Apple or Samsung? 

The bad guy was ITC, which allowed itself to be used as an instrument of blackmail against the interest of the American people, they have been severely corrected, and it is going to be interesting to see the fallout.

post #36 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'm still unclear about what this is actually all about. So Samsung has a patent on something related to 3G GSM technology that Apple used in early versions of the iPhone and iPad. Did Apple refuse to pay royalties on this patent or did Samsung refuse to license it? Did Samsung offer to license to Apple but at rates far higher than other licensees were paying? Is this patent really subject to FRAND or not? Why has this gotten to this point? Who's really the bad guy here? Apple or Samsung? 

 

Yes it was FRAND. Everyone knew this except ITC it seems.

post #37 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'm still unclear about what this is actually all about. So Samsung has a patent on something related to 3G GSM technology that Apple used in early versions of the iPhone and iPad. Did Apple refuse to pay royalties on this patent or did Samsung refuse to license it? Did Samsung offer to license to Apple but at rates far higher than other licensees were paying? Is this patent really subject to FRAND or not? Why has this gotten to this point? Who's really the bad guy here? Apple or Samsung? 

 

The bad guy was ITC and the enabler of the bad guy was Samsung.  

 

Samsung offered license to Apple on non-FRAND terms.  Specifically, Samsung demanded that Apple license non-SEP Apple patents to Samsung in exchange for Samsung licensing SEP patents to Apple on presumably FRAND terms.  This is known as "tying" in the antitrust world.  Apple refused to this non-FRAND arrangement and in response, Samsung asked ITC to ban Apple products.  ITC decided that it doesn't matter what terms Samsung offered as long as Samsung offered something and proceeded to ban Apple products on that basis alone.  President smacked down ITC for being an idiot and specifically said that it does matter what the terms were and those terms have to be FRAND.  

 

Now, the only option available to Samsung is to take Apple to court.  That is exactly what Samsung doesn't want because the courts have already ruled in a separate Motorola vs. Microsoft case (Judge Robart) that Microsoft was obligated to pay only FRAND licensing fees to Motorola which asked for non-FRAND licensing fees.  In Samsung's case, the court will determine what the FRAND licensing fees will be and will force both Apple and Samsung to accept those court terms.  

post #38 of 262
Glad to hear this. Banning devices is too extreme a punishment that mostly hurts consumers. Getting a third party mediator to assess a monetary agreement seems like a much more sound option. Hopefully something gets worked out.
post #39 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'm still unclear about what this is actually all about. So Samsung has a patent on something related to 3G GSM technology that Apple used in early versions of the iPhone and iPad. Did Apple refuse to pay royalties on this patent or did Samsung refuse to license it? Did Samsung offer to license to Apple but at rates far higher than other licensees were paying? Is this patent really subject to FRAND or not? Why has this gotten to this point? Who's really the bad guy here? Apple or Samsung? 

 

Well, the 3G Technology patent in question is a standard essential patent to be licensed under FRAND terms.

Apple has stated multiple times, that they'd like to license it under fair terms, i.e. the same terms as other have gotten it licensed for.

However, Samsung failed to offer fair terms and tried to charge Apple multiple times the amount others pay for this patent and therefore Apple refused to license it.

post #40 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Was this legal? I mean, it was right, given that Apple should never have been "banned" in the first place, but was it legal to overturn?

It is legal for the president to overturn an ITC decision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'm still unclear about what this is actually all about. So Samsung has a patent on something related to 3G GSM technology that Apple used in early versions of the iPhone and iPad. Did Apple refuse to pay royalties on this patent or did Samsung refuse to license it? Did Samsung offer to license to Apple but at rates far higher than other licensees were paying? Is this patent really subject to FRAND or not? Why has this gotten to this point? Who's really the bad guy here? Apple or Samsung? 

Sammy wanted Apple's first born or a relatively large licensing fee.
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