Standard essential patent

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Political patience at an end? Obama overturns iPhone, iPad sales ban

“An ITC ruling in June barred the sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G — distributed by AT&T — in favor of South Korean firm Samsung after the two tech giants clashed in a patent war which spread to include other companies and courts worldwide.

However, the Obama Administration has overturned the ruling. …

The disputed patent is considered “standard essential,” which covers technology that is now required in order to comply with industry standards.

By lifting the ban, the Administration may be demonstrating the end of its tolerance for tech firms hurling standard-essential patent lawsuits at each other. The Administration has been pushing for monetary fines rather than sales-based penalties for standard-essential patent infringement for some time; and the unusual move — not seen since the 1900s — could be a warning for the ITC to change its ways.

By banning products, not only can you impact consumers, but fewer firms may be encouraged to innovate or attempt to compete against larger firms. However, when technology patents become essential use, encouraging licensing deals instead may promote competition and economic growth.”


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