This recent article from the Wall Street Journal brought a chuckle. Seems the Obama Administration just stepped in to veto an ITC ruling, won by Samsung, that barred importation of certain Apple iPads and iPhones. What’s interesting is some of the language used to justify the veto:
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the decision to veto the ban on the Apple devices, citing concerns about patent holders gaining "undue leverage" as well as potential harm to consumers and competitive conditions in the U.S. economy.
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Critics of the ITC order questioned whether companies should be able to block rival products in cases involving patents that have been deemed to be essential to creating products based on key technologies overseen by industry standard-setting groups.
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"We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case," an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement. "Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way."
"Undue leverage," huh? Questions "whether companies should be able to block rival products." And, "abuse [of] the patent system." Gee, where have I heard those words before?
I trust Samsung and its lawyers are sitting back in quiet reflection today, wondering how they let their professional and ethical standards slip so far as to let them engage in such underhanded tactics, and vowing never to do it again.
Abusing the patent system, indeed.