USITC Investigating Apple and AT&T Over Imports
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain mobile and portable electronic devices incorporating haptics—which refers to applying touch sensation and control to interaction with computer applications—including smartphones and laptops and components of those devices.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Immersion Corporation of San Jose, Caifornia, on May 5, 2016. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain mobile and portable electronic devices incorporating haptics—in other words, devices such as smartphones and laptops that include touchscreens—that infringe patents asserted by the complaint. Immersion requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation: Apple Inc. and
AT&T Mobility LLC.
By instituting the investigation, the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of the Tariff Act. That initial determination is subject to review by the commission.
Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.