ITC to investigate Apple, other handset makers over claimed touchscreen patent violations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2020
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday said it plans to probe a number of tech companies, including Apple, on patent infringement claims involving touchscreen smartphones, computers and other devices.




Today's decision arrives a month after Irish non-practicing entity Neodron filed a Section 337 complaint with the ITC alleging Apple, Amazon and a number of other tech firms infringe on four patents relating to touchscreen technology.

As part of the complaint, Neodron seeks cease and desist orders against the accused violators.

The Irish entity in February lodged a series of lawsuits against Apple, Amazon, Asus, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung and Sony seeking royalties on device sales. In addition to smartphones, the various cases target tablets and laptop computers that incorporate touchscreen control technology allegedly in infringement of owned intellectual property.

In its case against Apple, Neodron claims products including iPhone 11 and the third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro are in infringement of four patents describing touchscreen keyboards and touch sensor technology.

Neodron acquired its clutch of touchscreen patents from Silicon Valley-based firm Atmel in 2018 and subsequently weaponized the cache to sue large industry players.

Reuters reported on the ITC's decision earlier today.

This year's legal volley follows a separate battle involving four similar patents leveraged in federal court against Amazon, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola and Samsung. Like the current action, Neodron successfully petitioned for an ITC investigation into each company under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

The ITC will set a target date for completion of the investigation involving Apple within the next 45 days.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    Maybe they should start an investigation into patent trolls.
    mwhitemacseekerolslongpathlkruppBeatschasm
  • Reply 2 of 5
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,212member
    Remember when Nokia started the smart phone patent wars and everyone thought that was the worst that could come from patent litigation, mostly because the whole thing appeared to be a zero-sum game.

    We're basically seeing this all over again, but instead of 11 tech companies with actual products - we have innumerable entities with nothing to lose and a bunch of myopic, cash hungry apologists who think that unfettered capitalism is normal and not at all harmful to society.
    chasm
  • Reply 3 of 5
    longpathlongpath Posts: 362member
    Remember when Nokia started the smart phone patent wars and everyone thought that was the worst that could come from patent litigation, mostly because the whole thing appeared to be a zero-sum game.

    We're basically seeing this all over again, but instead of 11 tech companies with actual products - we have innumerable entities with nothing to lose and a bunch of myopic, cash hungry apologists who think that unfettered capitalism is normal and not at all harmful to society.
    What “unfettered capitalism” are you referring to? This issue is the direct consequence of intellectual property law, where mere ideas, rather than functional items are called inventions. Your statement places blame on the private sector when root cause is clearly in the public sector. Also, other than black and grey markets, there is nothing even approximating “unfettered capitalism” in any 1st or 2nd world country.
    beeble42
  • Reply 4 of 5
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,212member
    longpath said:
    Remember when Nokia started the smart phone patent wars and everyone thought that was the worst that could come from patent litigation, mostly because the whole thing appeared to be a zero-sum game.

    We're basically seeing this all over again, but instead of 11 tech companies with actual products - we have innumerable entities with nothing to lose and a bunch of myopic, cash hungry apologists who think that unfettered capitalism is normal and not at all harmful to society.
    What “unfettered capitalism” are you referring to? This issue is the direct consequence of intellectual property law, where mere ideas, rather than functional items are called inventions. Your statement places blame on the private sector when root cause is clearly in the public sector. Also, other than black and grey markets, there is nothing even approximating “unfettered capitalism” in any 1st or 2nd world country.
    You need to back up your claim before attacking mine.
    chasm
  • Reply 5 of 5
    It certainly rankles when some company starts legal action more than a dozen years after the introduction of a revolutionary device (which presumably has incorporated those patents since inception) when they only recently purchased the patents themselves. It brings to mind Oracle vs Google. But ultimately this is a legally valid approach.
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