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Obama administration overturns ban on some iPads, iPhones

A US International Trade Commission-issued ban on the sale of some older iPhones and iPads was overturned, reversing a ruling that had favored Samsung over Apple.

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Apple's logo is reflected next to a Samsung Galaxy Note II smart phone. A previous ban on select Apple imports was recently overturned by the Obama administration.

Barry Huang/ Reuters/ File

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The Obama administration has overturned a US trade panel's ban on the sale of some older iPhones and iPads, reversing a ruling that had favored Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. over Apple Inc. in their long-running patent battles.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) in June banned the import or sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G distributed by AT&T Inc, saying the devices infringed a patent owned by the South Korean electronics giant.

US Trade representative Michael Froman on Saturday vetoed the ban, saying his decision was in part based on its "effect on competitive conditions in the US economy and the effect on US consumers." He said Samsung could continue to pursue its case through the courts.

Samsung said it was "disappointed" at the lifting of the ban. "The ITC's decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license," it said in a statement.

Apple welcomed the news and applauded the administration "for standing up for innovation." It added, "Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way."

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