ITC to investigate Apple's second patent suit against HTC

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday said it would investigate a second patent complaint Apple filed recently against HTC. The complaint seeks to ban the importation and sale of multiple HTC devices that Apple alleges are infringing on its intellectual property. Three companies will be targeted in the Commission’s investigation — HTC Corp., HTC America, Inc. and Exedea, Inc. — and a target date for the completion of the investigation will be set within 45 days. The ITC ruled in a separate case last month that HTC infringes on two Apple patents, and HTC said it would appeal the judgement. Apple executives reportedly claimed recently that they are willing to settle various patent disputes, but the company continues to pursue numerous complaints against HTC, Samsung and others. The ITC’s full press release follows below.

USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND RELATED SOFTWARE

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain portable electronic devices and related software. The products at issue in this investigation are hardware and software used in a variety of portable electronic devices, including mobile communication equipment.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, on July 8, 2011. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain portable electronic devices and related software that infringe patents asserted by Apple. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

    HTC Corp. of China;
    HTC America, Inc., of Bellevue, WA; and
    Exedea, Inc., of Houston, TX.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-797), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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