Obama: Apple Can Keep Selling iPhone 4

Vetoes ban on import and sale of some older iPhones and iPads

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 3, 2013 4:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Obama administration has vetoed a ban on the import and sale of some older iPhone and iPad models, overturning a decision by the International Trade Commission for the first time since 1987, Politico reports. The ITC issued an import ban and cease-and-desist on sales for some models of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 back in June after Samsung claimed they infringed on its patents. But in a letter to the ITC (which you can read in full at All Things Digital, but it's full of legalese), US Trade Representative Michael Froman said it was nixing the ban, as the government is concerned about patent holders gaining "undue leverage," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"We applaud the administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case," says an Apple spokesperson, per Politico. "Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way." Samsung says it is "disappointed," as "the ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license," All Things Digital reports. Froman says Samsung can still pursue its patent rights through the judicial system.

An Apple iPhone 4 at an AT&T store in Palo Alto.
An Apple iPhone 4 at an AT&T store in Palo Alto.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
A man leaves an Apple store with an iPhone and an iPad.
A man leaves an Apple store with an iPhone and an iPad.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
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