Feeds

USA reverses iPhone, iPad sales ban

Patent reform policy saves the day

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

US Trade Representative Michael Froman has recommended Samsung's bid to prevent Apple from selling its iPhone and iPad due to patent violations not be approved.

In a letter (PDF) dated August 3rd, Froman wrote to the Chair of the International Trade Commission (USITC) and laid out his reasons for deciding not to impose a sales ban.

The letter makes much of the Obama administration's January 2013 Policy statement on remedies for standards-essential patents subject to voluntary/FRAND commitments (PDF). That document outlines some of Obama's patent reform proposals, by encouraging offices like the USTIC to “consider whether a patent holder has acknowledged voluntarily through a commitment to license its patents on F/RAND terms that money damages, rather than injunctive or exclusionary relief, is the appropriate remedy for infringement.”

A quick bit of exposition: “FRAND” stands for “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” a term that is used to describe patent licensing conditions. FRAND is the US government's preferred way of licensing “SEPs” - standards-essential patents – that an entity holds but that really need to be licensed widely if complex systems are to be operable.

The policy statement we mention above discusses “FRAND-encumbered SEPs” and suggests exclusion orders like that being sought be Samsung should not be granted, because doing so stifles innovation.

Froman's letter explores that policy, finds no reason to disagree with it and he therefore “decided to disapprove the USITC's determination to issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order in this investigation.”

It's business as usual then, for all concerned. Shelves will remain full at Apple stores throughout the USA, resellers and carriers in the land of the free remain free to sell iPads and iPhones. And lawyers can bank on more time in court representing either Apple or Samsung, as Froman concludes that his decision means “the patent owner may continue to pursue its rights through the courts.” ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.