Apple Supporters Line Up to Oppose Looming iPhone Ban

Apple Supporters Line Up to Oppose Looming iPhone BanIn the wake of a recent op-ed piece published in the WSJ by Verizon’s top legal eagle, a healthy slate of companies and regulators are similarly stepping up to defend Apple.

Last month, the ITC determined that AT&T versions of the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G infringe on patents owned by Samsung. Consequently, these devices must be banned from sale after this weekend.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a growing number of companies are now voicing concern – not just for Apple – but also about theĀ  unfavorable precedent that would be established.
Product bans resulting from alleged patent infringements or violations, they say, is bad for consumers and for business, they say.

AT&T, for example, believes that the ban would remove a critically important choice for consumers. In short, the removal from sale of older iPhones translates to a reduction of buying power for consumers on a budget looking to enter the iOS ecosystem.

BSA, a trade group representing software makers including Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. and chip maker Intel Corp., said the use of essential industry patents to ban products shouldn’t be allowed except under unusual circumstances.

“U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has the authority to make the final decision on whether to allow the ITC ban,” the WSJ reports. “It is rare for a presidential administration to veto an ITC order, the most recent instance occurring in 1987. If Mr. Froman doesn’t intervene, the ban would take effect on Aug. 4.”