As the legal struggle between Apple and Samsung continues to boil away, Samsung was recent (and somewhat surprisingly) granted an import ban against certain older Apple products by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
AllThingsD reports (emphasis added):
The United States International Trade Commission on Tuesday granted the South Korean company’srequest 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, of course, is thrilled with the decision, stating that they “believe the ITC’s final determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations.” Free-riding on someone else’s innovations is something Samsung of all companies ought to know a thing or two about.
Congrats, Samsung. You won an import ban on two products that are barely being sold – and both on the verge of being discontinued anyway. Well done!
Apple, of course, is planning to appeal the decision.