International Trade Commission Initiates Investigation of Smartphones

Action taken as Eastman Kodak alleges patent infringement. Research In Motion, Apple named as respondents.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) said Wednesday it had voted to investigate certain smartphones containing built-in cameras. The investigation is the result of a complaint filed in January by Eastman Kodak. The companys complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by the importing of certain wireless communication devices that contain digital cameras and components that infringe Kodak patents. Kodak is requesting the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease-and-desist orders.

The respondents in the investigation are Research In Motion Ltd. of Canada and Research In Motion, Irving, Texas, as well as Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif.

As per procedure, instituting an investigation does not suggest that the USITC has made any decision on the merits of the case, the agency notes. Within 45 days of instituting the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.

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