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ITC Ban Affects Limited Number Of Older Apple Products

 New York – Apple vowed to appeal a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission banning the company from importing and distributing older iPhones and cellular-equipped iPads, but only those models designed to operate on the AT&T network.

 The products are the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPad2 3G, and iPad 3, but only the iPhone 4 and cellular-equipped iPad 2 are currently available on the Apple and AT&T online stores, the companies’ web sites show. AT&T sells the 3G-equipped iPhone 4 for 99 cents on its website.

The phones were found to infringe on certain parts of a Samsung cellular patent.

 Apple has contended that the technology in question is an essential part of a cellular-industry standard and that Samsung isn’t licensing that technology under fair and reasonable terms as contributors to industry standards normally do. For its part, the ITC said in a statement that it “has determined that Apple failed to prove an affirmative defense based on Samsung’s FRAND declarations.” FRAND refers to “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” licensing terms. Such a licensing obligation is often required by standards-setting groups whose members want to participate in the standard-setting process.