Bellow is an excerpt from an article I published on the Canadian Intellectual Property Blog (CIPB) regarding the USTR's overturning an ITC decision to prohibit Apple Inc. from importing its phones and tablets that infringe a Samsung Electronics Co. Patent.
On June 4th, 2013, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a ruling prohibiting Apple Inc. (Apple) from importing its iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2 because they infringe a patent owned by Samsung Electronics Co. (Samsung). On August 3rd, the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in a rare interventionist move, disapproved of the ITC’s ruling allowing Apple to continue its importation of the infringing products.
Under § 1337 of the Tariff Act, the ITC may issue an exclusion order (injunctive type relief) against an entity that imports a patent infringing product. In deciding whether to grant the exclusion order, the ITC must consider the effects of the order on US trade and commerce. If the ITC believes that the public interest would not be best served by the issuance of the exclusion order, it has the discretion to refuse it.
Samsung’s patent is what is known as a “standard-essential patent” (SEP). These patents cover inventions that must be incorporated into a given device if they are to meet some applicable technical standard. SEPs have the potential to give vertically integrated patent holders an advantage over their competitors whom, for all intents and purposes must license the technology from them.
Please find the full article here