Apple faces investigation by International Trade Commission

Apple faces investigation by International Trade Commission

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Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple-Ericsson confrontation continues to heat up. The U.S. International Trade Commission says it will investigate Apple, based on two complaints alleging that Cupertino illegally infringed on Ericsson patents.

Ericsson previously asked the ITC to block Apple products, such as the iPhone, from selling in the United States while the case is being investigated.

Both companies have sued each other this year, with Apple arguing that Ericsson “seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations” and is engaging in “abusive licensing practices.”

Getting the ITC involved is significant because the commission can move more quickly than district courts, while additionally having the power to block products from entering the United States — a potentially disastrous outcome for Apple, given that the majority of its devices are manufactured overseas. An import ban would have a giant impact on Apple’s sales and would pressure the company into settling, if only so as not to lose out on revenue.

One of Ericsson’s suits with the ITC concerns “Apple iPhones, iPads, and other cellular-enabled products that use the 2G GSM and 4G LTE telecommunications standards.” The other covers “smartphones, tablet computers, digital media players, and smartwatches.”

And all this from a company, Ericsson, that was plain dismissive of the iPhone back when it was announced in 2007.

Source: PC World