White House Has Until Friday to Overturn the Apple ITC Ruling (AAPL)
On Monday, the ITC ruling against Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will go into effect -- unless the White House overturns the ruling.
If history is any guide, the chances of that happening are exceedingly slim.
The issue involves a ruling against Apple where Samsung (OTC: SSDIY) successfully argued that Apple had infringed on some of its patents. The unexpected ruling will force Apple to stop importing AT&T (NYSE: T) the iPhone 4S and earlier models as well as the iPad 2 and earlier, according to AllThingsD.
This may not be a devastating blow to Apple but the company has seen demand for its earlier model devices increase as customers look to be part of the Apple ecosystem at a lower price.
The Obama Administration has until Friday to overturn the ITC ruling, but that isn’t likely, according to sources familiar with procedures surrounding ITC rulings. Only once has the White House intervened. This was during the Reagan presidency in 1987.
But, that hasn’t stopped Senators and company officials to lobby the White House to take action.
Verizon (NYSE: VZ) took to the public forum by writing an editorial in The Wall Street Journal that urged the White House to intervene. It argued that bans such as these should be reserved for the rarest of cases, and this case doesn’t fit the standard.
Even Congress is interested. Four senators wrote a letter urging caution on how the patent laws surrounding the ruling are interpreted. It argued that standardized technology allows for interoperability of products and lets consumers make a more informed choice. The letter said, “We took no position on the merits of the cases then and similarly, we take no position on the merits of the cases now.”
Still, it’s clear that the four signers believe that the ruling is not in the best interest of the American public.
Obama has been an outspoken critic of patent laws that have resulted in a glut of lawsuits that are overloading the courts and some believe this is a way to put him in the political hot seat.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.
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