US bans iPhone 4 imports

Apple infringed a patent owned by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics in making several iPhone and iPad models, the U.S. International Trade Commission said in a final decision issued on Tuesday.

The panel issued a limited import ban and a cease-and-desist order for AT&T models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. The versions targeted are more than a year old but still solid sellers.

All exclusion orders are sent to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to review them. If he does not veto the order, it goes into effect.

The commission reviewed a decision by ITC Judge James Gildea, who said in September that Apple did not violate the four patents at issue in the case, filed in mid-2011.

The patent in question relates to 3G wireless technology and the ability to transmit multiple services simultaneously and correctly. It is essential to the interoperability of devices.

Apple and Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The case at the International Trade Commission is No. 337-794.

(Additional reporting by Poornima Gupta in San Francisco; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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US bans iPhone 4 imports