U.S. International Trade Commission opens patent-infringement investigation into Apple, others

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Apple is named in the investigation.
Photo: Laurenz Heymann/Unsplash

The U.S. International Trade Commission is opening up an investigation into companies, Apple included, that may have infringed on touchscreeen patents belonging to Irish company Neodron. The ITC also names Amazon in the investigation, in addition to a number of others.

Neodron has asked the ITC to issue cease-and-desist order. This would bar manufacturers allegedly infringing on the patent from selling relevant devices until the matter has been resolved.

The ITC has noted that, while it has opened an investigation, this does not suggest that it has reached any conclusion about the potential merits (or lack thereof) in the case.

This isn’t the first time that Neodron has picked a fight with a tech giant. Last year, the company petitioned the ITC to investigate alleged patent infringements by seven tech giants, including Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft. It sought the investigation after acquiring a suite of patents from the U.S. tech company Microchip. Neodron has also acquired patents from U.S.-based company Atmel.

The ITC will reveal the target date for completing its investigation in this latest case, involving Apple, in the next 45 days.

Neodron does not appear to have a website or social media presence. That suggests that it does not sell (or, at least, advertise) a physical product, and rather deals with licensing its patents behind-the-scenes.

Source: Reuters