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Apple Ban Approaches

Two months ago the ITC found that the widgets violate a Samsung standards-essential encoding patent

Apple only has 10 more days before an International Trade Commission's import ban on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2 and earlier takes effect on Monday, August 5.

That is unless the White House vetoes it, something that hasn't happened since President Reagan over 25 years ago, or, in a pinch, like now, by the Court of Appeals.

Two months ago the ITC found that the widgets violate a Samsung standards-essential encoding patent.

In a recent filing with ITC seeking a stay, Apple said that the ban will "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offering."

There's still pretty lively traffic in the older widgets.

Only AT&T will be affected by the ban because the devices only run on its network but rival Verizon, wary of the precedent it would set, ran an open letter in the Wall Street Journal this week asking the Obama administration to intervene arguing that Apple would license the patent on FRAND terms and that the patent - one of maybe 250,000 involved in the widgetry - isn't exactly the reason people buy the thing.

Verizon's top lawyer Randal Milch said, "Patent litigation at the ITC - where the only remedy is to keep products from the American public - is too high-stakes a game for patent disputes. The fact that the ITC's intellectual-property dispute docket has nearly quadrupled over 15 years only raises the stakes further. Smartphone patent litigation accounts for a substantial share of that increase."

The Court of Appeals won't hear arguments until August 9.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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