Monday, July 29, 2013

Decision Expected Within the Next Week on Whether to Veto ITC Exclusion Order Against Apple

As reported in the Wall Street Journal earlier today, the U.S. Trade Representative must decide by Sunday, August 4 whether to veto the ITC's June 4 exclusion order against certain models of Apple iPads and iPhones. (I don't see anything in the Tariff Act that extends this deadline to the following business day, August 5, but perhaps I've missed something.)  I blogged about the June 4 order here, and there has been extensive commentary in Foss Patents and the Essential Patents Blog on the public version of the Commission's order, which was made public last month.  

I have expressed my view--that the ITC should not enter exclusion orders in cases involving standard-essential patents--in several places, including this essay, and I don't have much more to add at this point.  One possibility in the present case, however, is that the USTR will decline to veto the order, since vetoes are rare and the order in this case involves mostly older-model devices; and that the executive branch will instead continue its push for legislative reform.  The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the ITC just a couple of weeks ago; the transcript is available here.

Of possible further interest is this article by Jenna Greene from the June 17, 2013 issue of the National Law Journal, titled "ITC Losing Its Luster:  Large Corporations Are Using the Forum Less for Their IP Disputes."

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