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iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent

60-day countdown for presidential veto

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Updated Apple is facing an ITC embargo on imports of older iPhone 4 and iPads after Samsung successfully convinced the trade body that Cupertino had infringed on a single one of its patents.

The patent, No. 7,706,348, covers coding and decoding of wireless signals within the CDMA architecture, and the ban will stop Apple from importing and selling iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3G models, as well as the cellular versions of Apple's iPad and iPad 2 lines in the US.

"The Commission has determined that the appropriate remedy is a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order prohibiting Apple from importing into the United States or selling or distributing within the United States wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers that infringe claims," the finding states.

As with all ITC bans, the lockdown won't start unless President Obama gives the all-clear. The president (who prefers to use a BlackBerry personally) has 60 days to decide the issue.

This is a setback for Apple, which had been feeling confident of its progress with the ITC after last year's ruling that it was in the clear of infringing Samsung's patents. A review of that decision has led to the ban, but Apple can take some comfort that the ITC cleared it of violating Samsung's packet-data reliability, phone-number dialing, and digital-document user interface patents.

The question for President Obama is now if he will sign-off on the ban within his 60-day time limit. Last year, Apple employees gave $308,081 to Obama's last reelection campaign, and several might be wanting their money back if the ban comes into place. ®

Update

"We believe the ITC’s Final Determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations," a Samsung spokesman told El Reg in a statement.

"Our decades of research and development in mobile technologies will continue, and we will continue to offer innovative products to consumers in the United States."

No word from Apple yet but plans to appeal the verdict have been reported.

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