California - The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday decided to institute an investigation of Apple Inc.'s iPhones, iPods, iPads and Apple personal computers for potential patent infringement in response to a Section 337 complaint Motorola Mobility LLC filed with the agency a month earlier.
Motorola's complaint against Apple alleges violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, computers, and components that infringe Motorola's asserted patents. The company is requesting that the ITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
"By instituting this investigation, the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case," the ITC said Tuesday. The Commission's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the ITC's six 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 section 337, which is then subject to the Commission's review.
"The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time," the Commission said. A target date will be set for completing the investigation within 45 days after the investigation's institution, it said.
The products at issue include the iPod Touch, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and the new iPad, as well as the Mac Pro, iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
The specific patents Motorola cites in the complaint include U.S. Patent Numbers 5,883,580, 5,922,047, 6,425,002, 6,983,370, 6,493,673, 7,007,064 and 7,383,983.
The '580 patent generally relates to messaging devices, the '047 patent relates to communication and control systems for multimedia, the '002 patent and '673 patent relate to communication devices, and the '370 patent relates to communications systems for messaging clients. The '064 patent relates to wireless communications systems providing content to wireless communication devices, while the '983 patent relates to managing content between devices.