The U.S. government has blocked a federal trade body ruling that found Apple violated the patent rights of rival smartphone maker Samsung, effectively lifting a ban on the sale of certain older models of iPhones and iPads. In rejecting the International Trade Commission's June decision to invoke the ban, U.S. trade representative Michael Froman said he was not making a ruling on the veracity of Samsung's patent claim, but rather objecting to the way it was adjudicated. "My decision to disapprove this determination does not mean that the patent owner in this case is not entitled to a remedy," he said. "On the contrary, the patent owner may continue to pursue its rights through the courts."

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