• The Washington Post

  • SHARE

The Obama administration Saturday halted a planned ban on the import and sale of older iPhones and Apple tablets that was ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The order would have banned the sale of AT&T versions of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G starting Monday for infringing on a patent held by Apple rival Samsung.

In a letter, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said that his decision to lift the ban was based on a review of “various policy considerations” related to whether companies can sue competitors for infringing on patents covering technology that has been deemed standard and essential for the industry. Such patents are supposed to be licensed to competitors at fair and reasonable rates.