Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Verizon asks Obama to prevent upcoming iPhone sales ban

In April, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)ordered an import banon the iPhone 3G/3GS/4after determining had violated ’s 3G cellular technology patent. was hopingtheU.S. Trade Representative (USTR) would overturn ITC’s decision on the basis that was asserting a standards-essential patent.Needles to say, asked ITC tostay an orderwhile the court considered the appl, arguing thesales banwould“sweep away an entire segment of ’s product offerings.”And in an interesting twist rlier this week, the nation’s top carrier Verizon Wireless pressured President Obama to intervene in the v. case and veto the impending ban…The Big Red telco dis itseral counsel Randal S. Milch who took toThe Wall Street Journal, penningan editorial asking the Obama administration to prevent the iPhone ban.If the administration signaled that it would veto ITC relief orders in instances where courts would have found such orders inequitable, it could discourage parties from clogging the ITC’s docket with such cases in the first place.Then the White House could, mercifully, find it unnecessary to veto ITC decisions, perhaps for another 25 yrs.Verizon may be facing an uphill battle becauseno U.S. president to this date has vetoed an ITC decision since 1987. Besides, a whopping250,000 patents are relevant to today’s smart.Now, I know what you must be thinking, but Verizon isn’t taking sides here because the sales ban only affects the AT&T versions of the iPhone 3G/3GS/4.So why exactly is Verizon opposing the ban?Out of fr the ruling would set a dangerous precedent.High-tech products can implie thousands of patents. If the ITC finds that a product infringes even a single one, it can stop the product at the border. But that’s basically it.The commission can’t levy much in the way of a lesser penalty. In the end the consumer suffers when the use of such an enforcement tool is unwarranted.The carrier’s logic is simple: should handset vendors be allowed to inundatethe ITC with such complaints, import bans – if enforced – would affect sales of popular handsets on its network, in turn lding to decrsed service revenues that might hurt its fortunes.By handing down these sales ban orders, the ITC encourages patent abuse, Milch wrote:What we have warned is that patent litigation at the ITC – where the only remedy is to keep products from the American public – is too high-stakes a game for patent disputes.The fact that the ITC’s lectual-property-dispute docket has nrly quadrupled over 15 yrs only raises the stakes further. Smartphone patent litigation accounts for a substantial share of that incrse.From Verizon’s perspective, presidential intervention is only needed when the patent holder isn’t practicing the technology itself (patent trolls),has alrdy agreed to the patent on rsonable terms or whenthe infringing piece of the product“isn’t that important to the overall product, and doesn’t drive consumer demand for the product at issue”.The infringed invention is the U.S.Patent No. 7,706,384entitled ‘Apparatus and method for encoding/decoding transport format combination indior in MA mobile communiion system.’The order goes into effectby August 5, unless the administration intervenes.

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