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USITC to probe patent infringement case against Asustek, HTC

2012/04/19 18:34:26

Washington, April 18 (CNA) The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) said Wednesday that it has voted to investigate the patent infringement accusations against personal computer vendor Asustek Computer Inc. and smartphone maker HTC Corp. of Taiwan.

In a statement, the USITC said Pragmatus AV, LLC, a U.S.-based patent holding company, filed a complaint in March, alleging Asustek and HTC infringed on its technology used in certain consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and tablet computers.

Asustek's unit and HTC's unit based in the U.S., and LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea were also named as respondents in the complaint, the commission said.

The USITC said Pragmatus has accused the respondents of violating Section 337 of the U.S. Trade Act in importation into the U.S. market and sale of the involved electronics products.

The USITC said its chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of the commission's six administrative law judges, who will hold an evidentiary hearing and issue a preliminary ruling.

The initial ruling is subject to review by the commission, which will lay down a financial decision.

Within 45 days after the institution of the probe, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation, the commission said.

If the commission concludes the respondents are in violation of the Tariff Act, the most serious punishment will be a prohibition of imports of the products using the patents asserted by Pragmatus.

According to the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center under Taiwan's National Applied Research Laboratories, Pragmatus, which was established in June 2010, has also taken legal action against Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and for patent infringement.

(By Chou Yung-chieh and Frances Huang)