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Monday, August 5, 2013

Obama administration has intervened in the Apple vs. Samsung patent battles.

In a rather unexpected turn of events, the
Obama administration has intervened in the
Apple vs. Samsung patent battles. In a letter
to the International Trade Commission’s
chairman, The Honorable Irving A.
Williamson, the Obama administration has
disapproved the commission’s ruling against
Apple, which would have meant that the
iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 and the 3G
versions of the first and the second
generation iPads would have been barred
from being imported into the U.S., for the
time being. Specifically meant for devices
that worked on the AT&T network, the order
was with regards to an alleged infringement
of a Samsung owned patent by Apple, with
regards to how data is transmitted over a
cellular network.
The letter written by Obama administration’s
US Trade Representative and the president’s
adviser on international trade issues, Michael
Froman says, “The Policy Statement expresses
substantial concerns, which I strongly share,
about the potential harms that can result
from owners of standards essential patents
("SEPs") who have made a voluntary
commitment to offer to license SEPs on
terms that are fair, reasonable, and non­
discriminatory ("FRAND"), gaining undue
leverage and engaging in "patent holdup",
i.e., asserting the patent to exclude an
implementer of the standard from a market
to obtain a higher price for use of the patent
than would have been possible before the
standard was set, when alternative
technologies could have been chosen.”
This intervention means that Apple can
continue to import and sell the devices in
question, but this in no way impacts the
newer devices because they use a different
and more upgraded hardware, which
apparently don’t infringe on Samsung’s
Intellectual Properties.
This is a rather significant development,
because this is the first time since 1987 that
the presidential order, also known as POTUS,
has been injected into an international trade
dispute on U.S. Soil. At that time, the Reagan
administration had vetoed an order in the
dispute between Texas Instruments and
Samsung, Sharp, NEC and Toshiba.
source: http://goo.gl/8yKAdv - thinkdigit

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