Officials on a US trade panel said yesterday that it has voted to begin an investigation of an imaging patent dispute brought by FlashPoint Technology Inc against Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) and other handset makers.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) said in a press release that the products in this investigation include mobile phones, tablet computers and other devices having imaging capabilities that allegedly violate four patented technologies owned by FlashPoint.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed on May 23 this year by the US digital imaging company, which accused HTC, Pantech Co, Huawei Technologies Co (華為), FutureWei Technologies Inc and ZTE Corp (中興) of patent infringement.
The ITC’s chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of the commission’s six administrative law judges, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.
Within 45 days of instituting the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.
HTC, which had won a similar case against FlashPoint last year, declined to comment on the case because it has already begun legal proceedings.
In November last year, the ITC ruled that some of HTC’s electronic imaging devices, including its Android smartphones and Windows Phone 7 smartphones, had not infringed on patents owned by FlashPoint. FlashPoint also sued Nokia Corp, Research In Motion Ltd and LG Electronics Inc in the previous case, but the other three companies settled with FlashPoint before the USITC’s final ruling.