Today would have marked the beginning of a ban the International Trade Commission (ITC) set forth to halt the sales of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in the US after being found to violate a copyright held by Samsung Corp. The infringement was a huge win for Samsung in the ongoing legal battles between the two tech giants. This could have spelled grave results for Apple seeing as the iPhone 4 is still a relatively popular model still moving plenty of units as the cost of the units drop to a range more affordable to the average American.
President Obama halted those actions as he vetoed the ban Saturday, allowing Apple to continue selling their products with no consequences. Samsung’s stock fell $1 Billion in worth because of it. Was this the right thing to do? Perhaps. Samsung has been accused of not making it easy for Apple to buy lease agreements for their patent. “The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license,” a Samsung rep has been quoted. “We are disappointed that the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to set aside the exclusion order issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).”
Patent disputes have become a huge problem in the technology sector the last few years. While giants like Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and more have been gathering up any and every patent they can get their hands on to prevent other companies from copying their moves, it’s staggering innovation. Technology has generally grown by many small, incremental gains upon itself. If companies aren’t allowed to use a ‘standard’ technology and make their own small improvements, how then will we continue pushing forward?
An Apple spokesperson told the press Saturday that “We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.”