Even though it was released on a Saturday, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s disapproval of the exclusion and cease & desist orders in ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-794 has understandably generated a lot of chatter in industry and the patent world. Many are hailing the decision, while others disagree with the veto and/or believe it should be more clear, and still others simply are asking questions about what effects the veto may have. We thought it’d be useful to give a sampling of some the reactions to the ruling here:
First, the parties:
- Apple: “We applaud the administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.” (Apple spokesman Kristen Huguet, via Bloomberg)
- Samsung said it was “disappointed” with the USTR’s veto, because “the ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating a license in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license.” (Samsung spokesman Nam Ki Yung, also via Bloomberg)
And of course, many non-parties weighed in through news interviews, the blogosphere, and the Twitterverse:
- In Fortune magazine, Philip Elmer-Dewitt argues that ITC Commissioner Dean Pinkert’s dissent from the decision to issue an exclusion order showed the USTR why he should veto the ITC’s decision. He says that the ITC “blew it by ignoring” the dissent when issued its exclusion order. (via Fortune)
- But Ron Cass, former Vice-Chairman of the ITC and current head of Cass & Associates, said the ruling would “come to be seen as a mistake – it undermines protection for intellectual property.” (via Financial Times)
- Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents called the decision a “victory for consumers and fair competition” and speculated that the decision may lead some SEP holders (such as InterDigital) to withdraw pending SEP-related ITC complaints.
- The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of the Republic of (South) Korea “expresse[d] concerns over the negative effect the decision by the US Trade Representative will have on the protection of patents held by Samsung Electronics.” (via The UK Register)
- Jorge Contreras, Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, said that he agreed with the decision to overturn the ban, which in his mind, belonged in the district courts, not the ITC: “It’s completely redundant,” he said. “These are disputes that should be heard in the court.” (via Bloomberg)
- Manny Schecter, Chief Patent Counsel of IBM, took issue with the USTR’s basis for his decision, tweeting that an “explanation that ‘after…consultations…I have decided’ is simply not adequate.”
- Simon Lester, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, wondered whether the USTR’s decision was “just flagant protectionism'”?
- Perhaps thinking along a similar vein on whether the USTR’s decision might cause other countries to act in a similar manner, the Computer & Communications Industry Association posed the question: “how will this play out in the rest of the world?”
- And Managing Intellectual Property magazine queried: “Will this [the USTR’s veto] have long-term effect on FRAND negotiations?”
Would you like to hear what some others — including a former ITC Chairman and in-house counsel at Cisco and Qualcomm — think about the USTR’s veto, and whether this case and the Microsoft-Motorola case might have long-term effects on FRAND-encumbered SEP licensing negotiations? Then you should register for and attend our webinar this coming Wednesday at 12:30pm.