The US International Trade Commission said on Friday it had voted to launch an investigation into smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) following a patent infringement complaint filed by the US-based Digitude Innovations LLC.
In a statement, the commission said the complaint, which was brought by Digitude on Dec. 16, alleges HTC is violating section 337 of the US Tariff Act of 1930 by importing and selling in the US certain portable communication devices which contain patents asserted by the US firm.
“The products at issue in this investigation are cellular phones, tablet computers and other such devices,” the commission said.
Digitude is a technology licensing company, which has built up a portfolio of more than 600 patents containing technology in a variety of consumer electronics and communication products and services.
In addition to HTC, Digitude named numerous other smartphone and table makers in the complaint, including Research in Motion Ltd of Canada, LG Electronics Inc and Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea, Sony Corp of Japan and Nokia Oyj of Finland.
Apple Inc, which has reportedly partnered with Digitude, was not named in the complaint.
Digitude has requested that the commission issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order to ban the importation and sale of the companies’ products in the US market because of their alleged patent infringement.
The commission said its chief administrative law judge would assign the case to one of its six judges, who will hold an evidentiary hearing and make an initial ruling on whether a violation of the US Tariff Act has been committed. The initial decision is subject to review by the commission, it added.
The commission said it had not yet made any decision as to the merits of the case.
Additional reporting by Staff writer