Verizon’s top legal dog has penned an editorial asking President Obama to intervene with the U.S. International Trade Commission to prevent it from barring the sales of some older iPhones.
The ITC ruled in June that the AT&T versions of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G all infringe on patents owned by Samsung, and that the devices must be banned from sale by Aug. 5. While the decision doesn’t affect Verizon directly, the company’s general counsel, Randal S. Milch, published an editorial inThe Wall Street Journal this week calling on the Obama administration to veto the ITC’s decision.
“Patent litigation at the ITC — where the only remedy is to keep products from the American public — is too high-stakes a game for patent disputes,” Milch wrote. “The fact that the ITC’s intellectual-property dispute docket has nearly quadrupled over 15 years only raises the stakes further. Smartphone patent litigation accounts for a substantial share of that increase.”
While Verizon hasn’t taken a position on the Apple v. Samsung suit, it opposes the ban simply because of the precedent it would set.
Such a move by the president would be unusual, as no president has vetoed an ITC decision since 1987.