Washington, April 27 (CNA) The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to launch an investigation into patent infringement accusations against Taiwan-based Acer Inc., one of the world's leading personal computer vendors.
The USITC said on its website Friday that Technology Properties Ltd. LLC, a patent licensing company based in California, filed a complaint with the commission in March, alleging that Acer and several others had infringed on its technology used in computers and computer peripheral products.
The computers and computer peripheral devices included laptop and desk computers, media card readers and printers, the commission said.
In addition to Acer, HiTi Digital Inc. and Shuttle Inc. of Taiwan, Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea, Canon Inc. of Japan, and Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Micron Technology of the U.S. were among the respondents named in the complaint.
These companies are accused of violating Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 by importing into the U.S. market and selling certain computers and computer peripheral products containing patents asserted by Technology Properties, according to the commission.
Technology Properties has requested that the commission issue orders to prohibit imports and sales of the related products, the USITC said.
The commission said that within 45 days of institution of the probe into the case, it will set a target date for completing the investigation.
The USITC said the case will be assigned to one of its six administrative law judges, who will hold an evidentiary hearing and issue a preliminary decision.
The initial ruling will be subject to review by the USITC, which will then lay down a final decision.
If the respondents are found to have violated the U.S. Tariff Act, the maximum penalty will be a prohibition of imports of the products containing the asserted technology, the commission said.
Despite its move to investigate the accusations, the commission said, it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.
(By Chou Yung-chieh and Frances Huang)