Apple requests US ITC to halt iPhone and iPad import ban scheduled for August

Apple requests US ITC to halt iPhone and iPad import ban scheduled for August

Apple has asked the International Trade Commission (ITC) to stay an import ban on a number of its products scheduled to take effect on August 5, pending Apple’s appeal to the Federal Circuit court.

According to a report by Gigaom, Apple filed a motion with the ITC on Monday, saying that the ban will “sweep away an entire segment of Apple’s product offerings” and result in the company losing opportunities to “gain new smartphone and tablet customers who otherwise would have purchased these entry-level Apple devices.”

Given the limited nature of Apple’s product offerings, Apple will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a stay pending appeal… Apple will suffer irreparable harm if the Orders go into immediate effect, whereas Samsung and any other interested partieswill suffer little or no harm if the Orders are stayed.

Apple also warns that phone carrier partners who sell these iPhones and iPads will be hurt by the ban too, as the products remain popular and are strong sellers for GSM carriers. The company notes that the iPhone 4 was the fourth best-selling smartphone model in the US in 2012.

A stay pending appeal would benefit the entities whose business interests would be directly, adversely, and disproportionately affected by the Orders: AT&T, T-Mobile, General Communication Inc., CT Cube, L.P., America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. (collectively, “the GSM carriers”) and Intel.

The import ban was imposed on the iPhone 4, iPad 2G and earlier models of those products early last month after a positive ruling for Samsung in an ITC case. Since the ITC handles trade into and out of the US and Apple’s devices are manufactured overseas, the full enforcement of this ban would prevent those devices from entering the US. An exclusion order was sent to President Obama, who would have had 60 days to review the order and veto it, resulting in the August 5 deadline.

In its appeal for a stay on the ban, Apple argues that the federal court will likely find the patent invalid — saying that it has a “substantial case on the merits.”

The ruling for Samsung was decided on a single Patent No, 7,706,384, which is titled “Apparatus and method for encoding/decoding transport format combination indicator in CDMA mobile communication system.” This particular patent is part of the portfolio that Apple has been trying to get classified as “standards essential” — which would allow competing companies to use the patented technologies on a “fair use” licensing basis. However, it didn’t succeed in this case.

Image Credit: David Paul Morris via Getty Images

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