President Obama and his administration on Saturday vetoed a decision that would have lead to an import ban on older Apple devices in the U.S. According to the Wall Street Journal, the President and his governing body felt upholding the ban could potentially lead to patent holders gaining “undue leverage.” In this case, Samsung flexing its patent muscle by pursuing additional rights through the courts. This is the first time in over twenty years a presidential administration has vetoed a ban levied by the U.S. ITC.
The ban would have kept Apple from importing its iPhone 4 and 3G iPad 2 into the U.S.—not exactly the most sought after products in Apple’s lineup, but important nevertheless. Samsung’s legal win came back in early June of this year, but its victory was very short lived. Following the ITC’s decision, some industry executives called on Obama to reverse the decision because of potential repercussions throughout the mobile landscape; many were concerned over Samsung using its essential technology patents—in this case, regarding 3G standards—to block rival products.
With the veto enforced, everything will essentially remain unchanged. You’ll be able to get an iPhone 4 or 3G iPad 2 no problem (if you can find them). But it could mean a lot more for the technology industry as a whole, potentially setting a precedent going forward and dictating how companies conduct themselves in a legal matter.