Fri, Sep 06, 2013 - Page 14 News List

TV maker AmTran faces patent investigation in US

Staff writer with CNA, WASHINGTON

The US International Trade Commission said on Wednesday it has decided to launch an investigation into allegations of patent infringement by Taiwan-based contract TV maker AmTran Technology Co (瑞軒).

AmTran, whose shares fell 0.99 percent to close at NT$19.95 yesterday, said the commission’s move is unlikely to affect its exports to the US as the company has experience in dealing with similar accusations.

STRAIGHT PATH

The Taiwanese company and seven other electronics manufacturers from the US, Japan and South Korea have been accused by Virginia-based patent holding firm Straight Path IP Group Inc of infringing on its technology for point-to-point network communications devices, the commission said in a statement.

The commission said the point-to-point network communications devices included smartphone handsets, tablet computers, e-readers, smart TVs, gaming consoles and Blu-ray players.

The other companies include AmTran Logistics Inc, a US-based subsidiary of AmTran; and Vizio Inc, an AmTran partner in the US market, according to the commission.

LG Electronics Inc of South Korea and Japan’s Panasonic Corp, Sharp Corp, Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp will also face investigation.

The commission has not yet set a timetable for its investigation, but legal analysts believe the case will be concluded in 12 to 16 months.

The commission also launched a separate probe on Wednesday to investigate seven companies, including four Taiwanese, for possible infringement of flash memory patents owned by the Sunnyvale, California-based Spansion LLC.

MEMORY CHIPS

The memory chips at the center of the investigation are used in gadgets such as laptops, wireless routers, video game consoles, handheld gaming devices and game cartridges, the commission said.

The four companies are Macronix International Co (旺宏), Acer Inc (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and D-Link Corp (友訊).

Japan’s Nintendo Co and US-based Belkin Corp and Netgear Inc are also being probed.

The commission said it would issue a ban on importing the products in question if Spansion’s complaint is verified and approved.

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