Over the weekend, the big news in the mobile world was that President Obama stepped in and over-turned the ITCs import ban on several Apple products. Previously, Samsung had won a victory over Apple in the ITC showing that Apple had infringed upon some of its patents. This resulted in an import ban on the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2, and would have meant that Apple could no longer sell these devices in the USA.
This was a big victory for Samsung, and the deadline for Apple to either fix the infringement or face the final import ban had come. At the last second President Obama reversed the ruling, and while this is not the forum to debate the politics of his action, several industry analysts have pointed out that he actually had a valid reason to do so.
As it turns out, when the ITC commission finally ruled, they were not in full agreement. One ITC commissioner, Dean Pinkert, made the assertion that the infringed patents in question were actually standards essential FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory). He also asserted that Samsung didn't handle these patents fairly with Apple, thus his colleagues at the ITC shouldn't have issued the import ban.
There are several reasons why this matters, and here is a quote below with the details,
As you can see, the facts of the matter make the picture a bit clearer. Of course, it's possible that behind the scenes all of this was motivated by money and power, which is most often the case in politics. Regardless, it seems like the right thing was likely done in the end.
Lately, there are many scholars including technical experts, judges and economists, who have called for the end of software patents. They make the valid argument that software patents only slow innovation rather than protect it. What do you think? Does the patent system need an overhaul?