USITC investigating Apple over alleged infringement of Maxell's patents

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
The U.S. International Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that it is launching an investigation following a complaint by Maxell that Apple is infringing its patents.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Maxell, a Japanese consumer electronics company, has filed multiple patent lawsuits against the Cupertino juggernaut. On July 17, it also filed a complaint with the ITC.

In the complaint, Maxell asked the ITC to issue both a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order, which would block Apple from importing infringing devices into the United States. On Wednesday, the ITC acknowledged the complaint and announced that it is starting an investigation into whether Apple's devices infringe on the Japanese company's intellectual properties.
"Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on July 17, 2020, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, on behalf of Maxell, Ltd. of Japan. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain mobile electronic devices and laptop computers by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,203,517 ("the '517 patent"); U.S. Patent No. 8,982,086 ("the '086 patent"); U.S. Patent No. 7,199,821 ("the '821 patent"); U.S. Patent No. 10,129,590 ("the '590 patent"); and U.S. Patent No. 10,176,848 ("the '848 patent"). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by the applicable Federal Statute."
In a notice of the probe published by the ITC, the Commission said that "mobile devices, tablets, smartwatches, and laptop computers sold under the Apple brand name" are included in the scope of the investigation.

The Japanese electronics company has accused Apple's devices of infringing on more than 10 of its patents, including some covering walking navigation, wireless communications, and passcode unlocks. The first lawsuit was filed in 2019, while the second was lodged in 2020. Both are still ongoing. In June, a judge granted a special order to remotely review Apple's source code.

The ITC has yet to announce when there will be a final determination in the probe, but said it will set a target date for completion within 45 days of the announcement on Aug. 19. Patent validity investigations can take years to complete.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 600member
    Apple has a long history of spending their efforts on being deceptive and devious, rather than putting efforts into building better products.
    This is money well spent.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    killroykillroy Posts: 225member
    Or this is another way to get free money. Like walking while using GPS.
    rob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,091member
    geekmee said:
    Apple has a long history of spending their efforts on being deceptive and devious, rather than putting efforts into building better products.
    This is money well spent.
    Too many people assume patents actually cover things the way Apple builds things without any knowledge of what Apple actually did. Too many patents are granted for obvious and too general things, like using GPS while walking. Apple has the money so people sue them for everything. 
    killroymwhiterandominternetpersonrcfawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    geekmee said:
    Apple has a long history of spending their efforts on being deceptive and devious, rather than putting efforts into building better products.
    This is money well spent.
    That is such BS.  Go troll somewhere else.
    muthuk_vanalingamDancingMonkeyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    Patent office’s generally are understaffed, overworked, and often lack specific expertise in the details of an invention.
    Patents are intentionally written in very generic terms. As a result many patents are granted that should never have seen the light of day.
    The people benefiting the most: patent attorneys
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,616member
    The one part of this story that leaves me scratching my head: if Apple is violating these vague patents (like "walking navigation") ... then surely every GPS device or service maker is also violating them? Where's Google, TomTom, Microsoft, et al in here?

    When I don't see industry-wide lawsuits on generic patent violations like this, to me at least it makes it plain they're just hoping for a quick payout.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,512member
    chasm said:
    The one part of this story that leaves me scratching my head: if Apple is violating these vague patents (like "walking navigation") ... then surely every GPS device or service maker is also violating them? Where's Google, TomTom, Microsoft, et al in here?

    When I don't see industry-wide lawsuits on generic patent violations like this, to me at least it makes it plain they're just hoping for a quick payout.
    You gotta start somewhere. Sometimes it's Google sued first, other times Apple, and sometimes it's a little player in order to get traction. A win then leads to more lawsuits. Nothing to be suspicious about. If they don't have a case they won't win. 
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