In a ruling made earlier today, the ITC ruled that Apple was in violation of a Samsung patent that would have several versions of the iPhone banned from sale in the United States. This banning would cover the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPad 2 3G, and the iPad 3, each of them as they’re carried specifically by AT&T. This ruling does not have the products banned immediately, however: Apple has 60 days before the ban begins to either turn over the ITC ruling in an appeals court or, of course, ask Barack Obama himself (mentioned by the Wall Street Journal, oddly) to veto the ruling.
The patent in question covers phone and tablet abilities to send information over wireless networks. This ruling does not affect the iPhone 5, original iPad, or the iPad 4, and likely wont have any affect on future models.
The specific patent works with “an apparatus and method for encoding/decoding a transport format combination indicator (TFCI) in a CDMA mobile communication system” This ruling has no effect on T-Mobile or Verizon-carried devices, nor does it affect any devices outside of AT&T’s collection. An Apple spokesperson let the Wall Street Journal know the following:
“We are disappointed that the Commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal. [The decision] has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States. … Samsung is using a strategy which has been rejected by courts and regulators around the world.” – Kristin Huguet for Apple
As Apple’s iPhone releases continue to knock out old versions, it won’t be very many cycles before the units included in this ban are out. In other words, even if the 60 day cycle does not turn the ITC ruling out, the devices included in the ban wouldn’t have been for sale for long anyway. We shall see!