The Wall Street Journal reports the administration just awarded Apple with a significant victory in their patent war with Samsung. A looming sales ban on older generations of iPhones and iPads was blocked by the White House, Apple's only hope, at the last minute. The International Trade Commission ruled at the beginning of June to block the sale of some older Apple products because they infringed on a Samsung patent concerning simultaneous transmissions on 3G networks. The President, or a Federal Circuit Court, was Apple's only hope. Today was the last day the administration could reverse the ITC's decision.
U.S. trade representative Michael Froman ruled to block the sales ban because it would give patent holders "undue leverage," but said Samsung could still press the issue further in court. The ban would have blocked the sales of AT&T and T-Mobile models of the iPhone 4 and 3GS, and AT&T-enabled 3G versions of the iPads 1 and 2. If you think those products don't make money anymore, you are wrong.
This is undoubtedly a huge win for Apple in their ongoing sparring session with Samsung over patents, and if their arguments in this case are any indication this dispute won't be settled anytime soon. Per the WSJ:
Apple argued to the trade representative that the ban was inappropriate because Samsung had committed to license its patented technologies that were included in industrywide standards for wireless devices.
Samsung said Apple was the one that started the global patent wars between the two companies. It said the iPhone maker had sought to avoid paying for licenses of Samsung's patents.
When the arguments presented to the President are "Samsung promised," and "Apple started it," as if this was a dispute was being waged by two kids who just finished hitting each other, you know the fight is far from over.