The White House has officially overturned a pending ban by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) that would have prohibited sales and imports of the AT&T versions of the iPhones and iPads under U.S. Patent No. 7,706,348. The move, which was thought to have little chance of success, represents the first veto of a USITC decision since 1987. The decision to veto the exclusion of Apple products "in the public interest" was made pursuant to Presidential authority under the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. 1337(j), which has been exercised only on five prior occasions.
While perhaps far from over given the routine appeals of patent infringement decisions, the August 24, 2012 verdict awarding Apple $1 Billion in damages against Samsung in U.S. District Court signaled a major event in the evolving global patent landscape for mobile device technology. This particular case involved patents and trade dress for Apple’s iPhone and iPad and, in addition to the jury’s monetary damages award, Apple is also seeking to stop sales of several competing products offered by Samsung.