Apple requests stay on sales ban affecting older iPhones, iPads

iPhone maker argues that ban based on Samsung patent would do "irreparable harm" to it and a handful of GSM wireless carriers.

CNET

Apple has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to stay a ban on sales of older iPhone and iPads while a court considers an appeal.

In a motion filed Monday with the quasi-judicial body, Apple argued that the ban set to go into effect August 5 would "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offerings," as well as harming its partner wireless carriers.

The request comes a little more than a month after the ITC ruled that Apple infringes on a Samsung patent related to cellular technology with AT&T models of the iPhone 3GS and 4, along with 3G models of the iPad 1 and 2. The ITC, a federal agency with the power to enforce bans on products shipping to the U.S., issued a limited order to bar those devices from sale in the U.S. as part of the ruling.

Apple argues in its motion, which was first reported by GigaOm, that it will suffer "irreparable harm" if its requested stay is not granted:

"If the Orders go into effect, Apple will lose not only sales of its iPhone 4 (GSM) and iPad 2 3G (GSM) products but also the opportunity to gain new smartphone and tablet customers who otherwise would have purchased these entry-level Apple devices," Apple said in its filing.

Apple's motion also claims that a stay of the ban -- while the matter is under appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and even possible presidential review -- would benefit a handful of carriers that offer Apple products and operate on the GSM wireless standard. The redacted filing states that the devices have already been purchased by customers whose names have been blacked out but which GigaOm suggests are AT&T and T-Mobile.

"The products subject to the Commission's orders have been purchased by [REDACTED]," the filing states. "They remain very popular and are strong sellers for the GSM carriers. As noted above, the GSM carriers will be placed at a competitive disadvantage against their CDMA competitors because the Orders will prevent them from offering these popular, entry-level devices."

CNET has contacted Samsung for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Samsung originally filed the case against Apple in June 2011 -- some two months after Apple sued it, beginning the all-out legal war between the two tech giants. In the lawsuit, Samsung accused Apple of infringing on several of its patents, and sought import bans on certain iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

The case is separate from a complaint lodged against Samsung by Apple, accusing Samsung of infringing on several Apple patents. An initial ruling found Samsung infringing on four of Apple's patents, though a final ruling in that matter isn't due until August 1.

 

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