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USITC Slaps Import Ban on AT&T Models of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPAD 3G
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On Tuesday, the US International Trade Commission slapped a limited import ban and a cease-and-desist order on AT&T models of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. In the latest turn of events in the Apple-Samsung patent wars, this round goes to Samsung with the USITC finding that Apple had infringed a patent owned by Samsung while making several iPhone and iPad models.

Though the versions of Apple products are mostly a year old, many of them continue to bring in huge revenue for Apple.

President Barrack Obama has sixty days to review the order. If he decides not to veto, then the ban would go into effect.


The patent held by Samsung, that according to the USITC had been infringed by Apple, relates to the use of 3G technology and correctly and simultaneously transmitting multiple services. However, the patent is also one that is considered essential for interoperability of devices.

Since iPhone products account for close to half of Apple’s total revenue, industry experts are of the opinion that Apple would phase out iPhone 4 within the year and bring in a new version of the iPhone 5 for its customers.

The USITC overturned a ruling by ITC Judge James Gildea, who in September last year held that Apple did not violate any patents.

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Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement, “We are disappointed that the commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal. Today’s decision has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States.”

Currently Apple products like the iPhone 4, covered by this decision, is backed by a contract offered by carriers and are not affected by the ruling.

Samsung said in a statement that the recent ITC decision “confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations.”


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