August 3, 2013 Last Updated 3:21 pm

President's office overrules USITC ban on importation of older iPhones and iPads

In an otherwise bad week for Apple, the Cupertino company finally won one. President Obama’s office has order that a import ban on older iPhone and iPad models, ordered by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) in June be reversed.

“After extensive consultations with the agencies of the Trade Policy Staff Committee and the Trade Policy Review Group, as well as other interested agencies and persons, I have decided to disapprove the USITC’s determination to issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order in this investigation,” wrote Ambassador Michael B.G. Froman to the USITC.

“This decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations discussed above as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers.”

“We applaud the administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way,” Apple said in a statement to the WSJ.

Recently, four Senators – Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN.), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA.), and Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) – wrote a letter to the United States Trade Representative, Michael Froman, urgin the White House to intervene in this case.

As Apple is phasing out its iPhone 4 series, and is rumored to be going with a lower end iPhone 5 when it launches the iPhone 5s (assuming that is what it will be called), the ruling may end up having little effect on Apple and sales of older models. On the other hand, Samsung, which won the ruling in the first place, probably is not very happy, though not surprised.

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