back to article iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent

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 …

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Meh

Waste of Space

The ITC is a sham and always has been. Why even bother issuing a ruling they know full well will not be enforced. No U.S. President is going to stop a U.S. company from accessing their paid for property and selling it in the U.S. What a bunch of arrogant asshats.

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Trollface

Re: Waste of Space

"Last year, Apple employees gave $308,081 to Obama's last reelection campaign" I guess, Apple's "paid-for property" is in this case the White House itself.

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Anonymous Coward

ITC

as if that will make a difference.

What you mean it's not the Innovation and Techology Commision?

Is it the Indian Tobacco Company?

Is it the International Typeface Commission?

Which of the ITC's is it

Oh the International Trade Commission? In the pocket of the politicians, money men, fixers and wheeler dealers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Waste of Space

While true that its doubtful that the ban will take place, that also means that if Apple tries to use the ITC to get Samsung products banned, most likely it won't be allowed either. Most companies that make contributions, they make to both parties. One party usually receives more than the other though.

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Re: ITC

No, not the WTO-like one, which is based, by the way, in Mexico, and is part of the UN, but instead, this ITC the American one, so not, say again not, under the influence of anyone but the US government.

Which, by the way, makes it an even more surprising result for Samsung.

Not that it really affects Apple much, since their current offerings are the iPhone4 and similar 4th generation Apple offerings. yes, such a "limited ban" may hit them in the profit lines, but not nearly so much as a complete ban might otherwise do.

It'll be interesting to see how POTUS reacts.

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Happy

Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

Well, at least they are creating lots of free publicity for this case, and this will put POTUS in the spotlight AND in a funny dilemma: whether he should sign the ban, losing 'good will' from Apple and its employees, or not sign it and lose 'good will' from the rest of the citizenship.*

"Always look on the bright side of life" :o)

* Although I've got the impression that, historically speaking, several presidents in their second mandate developed a tendency towards not giving a shit about citizens goodwill or even about citizens full stop.

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Childcatcher

Re: Waste of Space

Funny, how you are asking that the President not ban Iwhatever just because it is an American country rather than a point of law? That would be the end of the word "justice" in the US. I am hoping that this will start a dialog in our government about the stupid patent system. The system is totally broken down and is counter productive.

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Meh

Re: Waste of Space

It is a U.S. government agency. As described in its charter, ITC rulings may be overturned by the President. It has nothing to do with 'justice' it is in the rules...

To wax philosophical, should the President overturn the ruling it is in fact proof that the rule of law is intact and 'justice' is being served because he is acting completely within the confines of the system of rules previously laid out and agreed upon.

You are spot on about how applying the patent system to software was an extraordinarily bad idea. The patent system is quite effective and if software (and genes) weren't allowed it would solve many problems.

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Re: Waste of Space

> What a bunch of arrogant asshats.

No surprise there, Apple has always been like that.

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Unhappy

Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

> or not sign it and lose 'good will' from the rest of the citizenship.*

Citizens of which country? South Korea? I suspect most US citizens are convinced anyway that Samsung is ripping off Apple, no matter what ITC says. Simply because in the intense media war, they are more likely to believe Apple propaganda than Samsung propaganda.

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Devil

Re: Waste of Space

The definition of an honest politician: "One that stays bought".

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Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)(@ MacroRodent)

Well, I was counting on a percent of US citizenships being well informed on this issue and its consequences, and said % of informed citizens to be bigger than the number of Apple employees.

Yeah, I know. I am too optimistic. :-). But my point is that if Obama doesn't sign the ban, it will have a political cost.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

"this will put POTUS in the spotlight AND in a funny dilemma: whether he should sign the ban, losing 'good will' from Apple and its employees, or not sign it and lose 'good will' from the rest of the citizenship.*"

I reckon Obama knows right from WRONG! Apple have proved that they are the toll road of tech, ripping off everyone elses ideas, price fixing, etc..

Obama needs to show his citizens that he can not be bought/owned by Apple unlike 50% of 'mericans, who clearly advocate Apples wrong doing.

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"Apple's "paid-for property" is in this case the White House itself."

Of course Apple owns the White House. Couldn't you tell by the Oval Office's rounded corners?

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WTF?

Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

There is no right or wrong in this case. The ITC judgements are by law subject to the Presidents decision. Until he vetos the judgement or let's it carry through 60 days of non action the judgement isn't even a judgement, it is a proposed action.

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Re: Waste of Space

To wax philosophical, should the President overturn the ruling it is in fact proof that the rule of law is intact and 'justice' is being served because he is acting completely within the confines of the system of rules previously laid out and agreed upon.

I think someone is confusing law, with justice.

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Holmes

Re: Waste of Space

hey, can I patent the concept of bribing governments, or is there simply too much prior art?

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Linux

Re: Waste of Space

It would still be an example of crony politics and protectionism even if it were declared acceptable under the law.

The fact that something is legal hardly makes it right.

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Linux

Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

> I suspect most US citizens are convinced anyway that Samsung is ripping off Apple

You're just kidding yourself.

In all likelihood, most probably don't care about such "finer points" and just want their cheap doo-dad. They are not aware of the insanity with patents and aren't even aware of your silly propaganda (never mind actually buying into it).

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Meh

Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

There is no right or wrong in this case.

Of course there is: software patents are wrong. I think everyone else in this thread can see that.

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Pint

Re: Waste of Space

"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."

So one can get a refund on bribes?

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Facepalm

Re: Waste of Space

@Rukario

I'm thinking the President should recuse himself for conflict of interest on this one. Any judge in a court case would do that under the circumstances. Politically for him, its a Kobyashi Maru scenario. What will be said if he allows the ban to go into effect is he doesn't want to look like he was bought off by Apple, so he intentionally let the products get banned to look tough. If he turns down the ban, its because of the money Apple (indirectly) gave him to buy him off. Either way it gets spun badly, so best to find a way to stay out of it...

icon, because Politics is always "D'oh!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ITC

The ITC should be taken to court for infringing on trademark, because we all know that ITC stands for Incorporated Television Company, which is a holy thing here in the UK.....

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Meh

Re: Waste of Space

It is kind of an unwinable situation, however the President can't recuse himself. The ITC cannot impose judgements without the OK, through inaction, of the President. The logic behind this is that principals of national interest may be negatively impacted by a judgement. As the leader of the country, not the leader of corporations, he must decide if his veto of a ruling would be in national interests. As the paragon of capitalism run wild the President would be going against a U.S. business and in the eyes of the non IT public, going against everything the 'free market' stands for.

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Coat

@admiraljkb: Re: Waste of Space

icon, because Politics is always "D'oh!"

Yes, and in politics, he who spends the most "D'Oh!" usually gets what he wants...

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Re: "paid-for property" is in this case the White House itself.

Not a chance. They don't believe in property rights in the first place.

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Re: end of the word "justice" in the US.

Guess you missed it. That ended about 5 years back now.

I case of doubt, check out the current Congressional hearings on:

IRS intimidation of political speech

AP wiretaps

Benghazi

There are others waiting in the wings that probably won't get any attention. Like Fast and Furious to name just one. I would have expected that one to gain some traction since it killed a lot of Mexicans, but it seems they can be tossed under the bus too if it fits other political purposes.

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Meh

Re: Waste of Space

EVERY corporation in the US gives to presidential campaigns. And for a major Corporate donation, $300.000 is pocket change. Sounds like they underspent. Repub corps give MILLIONS.

That's not even 1/6th a cheap corporate jet.

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Stop

Re: Waste of Space

Of course, sometimes even tenfold or more. You just need a "green" company to launder it.

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Trollface

Re: Waste of Space

Last year, Apple spent $1.97M lobbying the White House.

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Re: Waste of Space (Don Jefe)

> I suspect most US citizens are convinced anyway that Samsung is ripping off Apple

Has to be a Euro who posted this where its assumed one will support national products and companies first and foremost and fight to keep out the rest of the world. Not only is the American market one of the most open in the world but the average American cares a lot more about price and features than nationality of the brand. In fact Apple was in the news recently for avoiding US taxes by moving things over to Ireland. Most of our brands have become so multinational that the premium we put on products that claimed to be American made is rather small. Supposed American companies usually sell better with Americans less out of nationalism and more because they understand better how to market in the land of McDonald's and Starbucks.

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Re: Waste of Space

300k would just about pay for a primary campaign in a small town where the candidate was a shoo-in.

It currently costs about $600 per vote in a key ward in a swing state. Nobody is going to lose any sleep over the Apple employees meager contribution.

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OMG!

Apple must be quaking in their boots laughing all the way to the bank. Seriously does anyone, even Apple, really care about iPhones 3G through 4 and iPads 1 & 2. I can see Apple tech support crying now, "We're sorry, the ITC says we can't replace your tarnished shiny which is malfunctioning because we can't re-import the refurbs, you need to buy a new one. Have a shiny day!"

Wake me when it's for the 4S & 5 iPhone flavors and the iPad mini. On second thought, don't bother since it won't matter in 2016.

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Re: OMG!

This is the first step though for a lawsuit to get cash from all those prior sales though.

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Re: OMG!

Lots of schools and businesses still buy ipad 2 as they are cheap and do a good enough job.

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FAIL

bzzzzzzzzzt.

Eddy, you've completely missed the point.

The ban means the ITC believes Samsung's argument has merit. The next step for Samsung is suing Apple for damages. That's right, every iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and iPad 1 & 2 that Apple ever sold will be brought in to the claim for damages.

And that will hit Apple hard.

This latest round of tit-for-tat which has resulted in Apple being foisted on their own petard, is the clearest indication that no-one wins a thermonuclear war. It's a shame Steve Jobs never watched WarGames.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: OMG!

"they are cheap and do a good enough job"

The new Apple definition!

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Headmaster

Re: bzzzzzzzzzt.

"...Apple being hoisted by their own petard..."

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Re: bzzzzzzzzzt.

@Shagbag

BINGO, you've got it, perfectly. Now if Apple is smart, it will quickly do some backroom cross licensing deals with Samsung in return for both sides dropping all suits. Apple is still in jeopardy on having its "soft" Patents invalidated if it continues. Best to go ahead and end the conflict sooner than later. Trading money back and forth in global courts seems to be a poor usage of Stockholder's money. :) The attorneys must be making out like bandits though...

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Re: bzzzzzzzzzt.

I'll bet every US carrier you can name is 'giving away' iPhone 4's with a 2 or 3 year contract. Killing that entry-level deal would still hurt Apple and the carriers.

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Anonymous Coward

One thing that the author also didn't mention, Apple made contributions to Republicans and Democrats.

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Anonymous Coward

Hedging their bets then?

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monsanto and others do the same, they're all for sale.

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WTF?

Oh, the irony!

Anyone else think it's about time to put a stop to these patent wars?

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Mushroom

Re: Oh, the irony!

Patent wars meet Mutually Assured Destruction.

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Re: Oh, the irony!

'Anyone else think it's about time to put a stop to these patent wars?'

Might it be that Apple have been patenting world + dog so they can throw out enough 'infringement' claims that people get fed up with the patient spate and ditch the lot, thereby allowing Apple to infringe valid patients with impunity?

Why else would Apple even dream of patenting things like the 'slide to unlock' and the dozens, even hundreds, of other patents that most of us see as being far too obvious or littered with prior art?

So rather than stopping these patent wars, perhaps it's time to require that patents are checked for validity (at the holders expense) *before* they can be used in a court case? That way people can continue patenting world + dog, but when they try claiming patient infringement, those they try bringing to court have the protection of a pre-trial hearing paid for by the plaintiff that checks the patent was valid before prosecution can proceed. That would serve to protect people from Patent trolls and cut down on a huge chunk of patent infringement cases while avoiding re-forming the patent office or trawling through all existing patients to see if they're valid or not.

Not a perfect idea, though, but better than idiot patents and patent trolls costing the consumer a fortune while protecting genuine innovation.

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Bronze badge

<checking the date>

...not April 1?...

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Re: <checking the date>

@Neoc,

Exactly, I checked the date as well.....

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Irrespective of who is actually right doesn't the entire system lack credibility when different organisations deliver opposing decisions? I have no beef with samsung or apple but from casual observation the 'system' appears to be a joke, corrupt or just not fit for purpose. They infringed or they didn't, not both.

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