Apple files for stay on ITC ban for legacy iPhones and iPads

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In a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday, Apple requested the body stay an import ban against older model iPhones and iPads while a court considers an appeal on the ruling.

Apple's motion, which comes less than four weeks before the sales ban is scheduled to into effect on August 5, says the ban would "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offerings" and negatively impact the company's partner carriers.

As noted by GigaOm, the motion claims Apple will lose out on sales of GSM versions of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with cellular, which would hinder the company's efforts in garnering new customers from the entry-level devices. Since the iPhone 5 was released in September of 2012, the 8GB iPhone 4 became Apple's free-on-contract offering, an important product that allows the company to introduce a wider range of consumers to the iPhone ecosystem.

The ITC's ban was handed down in June after the six-member Commission determined Apple had infringed on certain 3G wireless patents held by Samsung. The limited import ban affects GSM versions of the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G, as well as versions of the iPad 2 and original iPad.

According to Apple, GSM network operators will cede a competitive advantage if the products are taken off the market. Although the names of the telecoms were redacted from the public version of the filing, Apple is most likely referring to AT&T and T-Mobile, two of the nation's largest wireless providers.

Apple is a little over half way through a 60-day Presidential Review period in which the White House can veto the ITC order. If no action is taken, as is usually the case, the import ban becomes effective.

In arguing for a stay, Apple notes that an appeal has already been lodged with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and believes the outcome of that case will be an invalidation of Samsung's asserted patent. If the CAFC rules in favor of Samsung, the Korean company can collect damages in another suit pending in Delaware, Apple says.


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