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US ITC to probe Apple and Samsung over touchscreen patent complaint

Mariella Moon
Associate Editor
Engadget

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced that it will launch a probe on Apple, Samsug and other tech companies that manufacture certain touch devices. Its decision was prompted by a complaint filed by Ireland-based company Neodron, which accused several device manufacturers of infringing on its touchscreen-related patents.

Neodron's portfolio of patents was originally granted to Silicon Valley firm Atmel. It's a fairly new company founded in 2018 and is notorious for suing various tech corporations for patent infringement. For the case that prompted this particular investigation, it's asking the ITC to issue limited exclusion and cease and desist orders again several companies. The ITC says its probe will cover Amazon, Apple, Asus, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung and Sony. According to AppleInsider, two of Apple's products involved in the case are the iPhone 11 and the third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

The ITC clarifies that starting an investigation on the companies doesn't mean it has already made a "decision on the merits of the case." It will set a target date for the probe's completion within 45 days after starting it and an evidentiary hearing will be held at a later date.