Featured: FTC Concerned Import Bans Are Being Used Anti-Competitively

The U.S. International Trade Commission recently made a ruling to ban the importation of the new HTC One X and Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE due to a possible Apple patent infringement. HTC after investigation proved that it did not violate the order, but that did not stop their new flagship phones from being delayed and postponed hurting their sales figures to an unknown extent and the way it was handled seem like a ploy to simply hurt HTC and did not actually present a real threat to Apple to warrant how the case was handled.

The FTC has now come out and stated that these bans may not be being used as they were originally intended and have instead become a tool used to reduce competition. While they are not arguing that the bans should be stopped there should be a better way of handling the situation in cases like this one where no infringement was found, but one company was negatively affected to unknown levels.

While there are not any specifics stated there needs to be a system where products who are not yet found to be in violation to not be impeded. If they are found later to have infringed then a fine should be imposed for the previous time, but they should not be punished before found guilty. Apple has filed for a similar case against the Galaxy S III making it seem more like they are using the bans in an anti-competitive manner. Competitors should be confident enough in their products to have the case filed and seen and have bans not imposed until wrong doings are actually found not before because they are worried about products affecting their success.

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Anthony Hardy

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