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ITC to investigate if Apple infringes on patents with AirPlay

Apple Lawsuit

Apple is without question the most sued tech company on the planet, and with more than $268 million in the bank, it’s no wonder why tech companies are often eager to take Apple to court in the hopes of securing a lucrative settlement. Apple’s lawyers are constantly busy and the latest legal saga to hit the Cupertino-based company involves allegations from Aqua Connect Inc and their subsidiary, Strategic Technology Partners.

The two entities first initiated a joint lawsuit against Apple last month, and now comes word from Reuters that the International Trade Commission (ITC) has agreed to look at the case. This is potentially a big deal because the ITC has the power to block infringing products from being imported into the United States. While the odds of this actually happening with Apple are seemingly slim, it certainly speaks to the zeal in which the two aforementioned companies are going after Apple.

AirPlay is just one of the technologies involved in the case, and as such, the ITC complaint encompasses nearly every Apple product, including Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs.

As Aqua Connect noted in their initial complaint last month:

AirPlay Mirroring uses Aqua Connect’s patented technology without Aqua Connect’s permission. Every iOS release since iOS 5 has included an AirPlay Mirroring feature that uses Aqua Connect’s patented technology without Aqua Connect’s permission.

As a final point, it’s worth noting that there’s no barrier to filing a legal claim against Apple. The ITC, however, doesn’t agree to investigate every allegation of patent infringement that comes its way. In other words, this suit appears to have some teeth to it.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.