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U.S. trade panel to investigate FlashPoint, HTC patent dispute

2012/06/26 20:13:22

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) Officials on a United States trade panel said on Tuesday that it has voted to begin an investigation of an imaging patent dispute brought by FlashPoint Technology Inc. against Taiwan's HTC Corp. and other handset makers.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) said in a press release that the products in this investigation include mobile phones, tablet computers and other devices having imaging capabilities that violated four patented technologies owned by FlashPoint.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed on May 23 this year by the U.S. digital imaging company, which accused HTC, Pantech Co., Huawei Technologies Co., FutureWei Technologies Inc. and ZTE Corp. of patent infringement.

The USITC's chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of the commission's six administrative law judges, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.

Within 45 days of instituting the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.

HTC, which had won a similar case against FlashPoint last year, declined to comment on the case because it has already begun legal proceedings.

In November last year, the USITC ruled that some of HTC's electronic imaging devices, including its Android smartphones and Windows Phone 7 smartphones, had not infringed on patents owned by FlashPoint.

FlashPoint, founded in 1996 by former employees of Apple Inc., also sued Nokia Corp., Research In Motion and LG Electronics Inc. in the previous case, but the three companies had settled with FlashPoint before the USITC's final ruling.

(By Jeffrey Wu)