Apple devices face import ban in light of ITC patent ruling

In the world of patent wars, Apple has enjoyed quite a few victories, something that may make the latest ruling by the International Trade Commission a little extra painful. According to a ruling posted by the ITC, Apple is staring down the barrel of an import ban in the United State against several of its older – yet still popular – devices, among the being the iPhone 4.

The ruling concerns one of Samsung's patents that deals with data transmission, according to the Washington Post. Apple and Samsung have reportedly butted heads over it for years now, with Apple saying that Samsung refused to offer it on fair terms, and with Samsung saying it has offered Apple a license since 2010, with the latter company refusing to accept one no matter what terms were offered.

According to Apple, Samsung – in order to issue a license – wanted the former company to shell out 2.4-percent of iPhones and mobile broadband-enabled iPad sales. As the legal issue arose, Apple then tried to argue that that Samsung should not be able to use the patent against its competitors because the South Korean company was one of several companies that established industry standards related to standards-essential patents.

The ITC wasn't swayed, however, and for the first Apple was on the losing end of a patent ruling. Now the ban on importing the Apple devices found to infringe on the patent will end up on President Obama's desk, where the possibility exists that he could overturn it, something that is said to be rare. The president has 60 days to review the ruling, during which time Apple is free to continuing importing the devices.

If the ban is upheld, Apple's iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G for AT&T will all be affected. Speaking to Bloomberg, Samsung spokesman Adam Yates said: "We believe the ITC's final determination has confirmed Apple's history of free-riding on Samsung's technological innovations."

SOURCE: Washington Post