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Politicos want veto of cell phone import ban

There's a bipartisan call for the president to overturn a decision to prevent allegedly patent-infringing Qualcomm chips in all new phones shipped to the U.S.

WASHINGTON--Politicians from both parties on Wednesday said they were protesting a recent decision that would ban the U.S. import of all future models of mobile phones containing Qualcomm chips found to have violated Broadcom patents.

The president has the authority to overturn the U.S. International Trade Commission decision, and some members of a U.S. House of Representatives panel said at a lengthy hearing about wireless consumer issues that they have been urging that to happen.

"I will be active in talking to the ambassador and trying to find a different remedy that doesn't potentially affect service for millions of Americans," said Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.). Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said he and others have also drafted a letter expressing concerns to that effect.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the politicos weren't taking a position on the merits of the patent case but were deeply concerned that, as a result of the ITC ruling, "new wireless technologies may well be kept from the marketplace, effectively freezing wireless innovation."

Qualcomm has already asked a federal appeals court to put a hold on the ITC's order, which was issued June 7 and does not affect devices that are already on the market. Verizon Wireless general counsel Steven Zipperstein warned the politicos on Wednesday that the impact on innovation in the U.S. wireless space "will be devastating" if the decision isn't tossed.