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In August, Apple(s aapl) persuaded President Obama to veto a trade agency’s order that barred it from importing certain iPhones that had been found to infringe Samsung’s patents. The Korean company then called for the same favor, asking the White House to stop an import ban set for October 8 that targets its own products, but has come up short. The ban will now go into effect, but is unlikely to be a big issue for consumers as Apple’s complaint is from mid-2011, and does not affect newer Samsung products; the government shutdown may also affect the ban’s progress (check out the agency’s website right now). In the bigger picture, the import ban situation is primarily a reflection of an outdated agency with mission creep that is just one part of America’s dysfunctional patent system.