US investigating Apple, Samsung, and more over Wi-Fi patent complaint

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The USITC has agreed to conduct a widespread investigation of Apple and a dozen more technology firms, following a filing from a patent troll based in Ireland.

Apple is one of 13 companies, including multiple divisions of Samsung and Lenovo, which are collectively to be investigated in response to a filing from Arigna Technology Limited of Dublin.

“The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain power semiconductors, and mobile devices and computers containing same,” says the USITC in a statement. “The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.”

“By instituting this investigation,” it continues, “the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.”

The USITC’s full notice of investigation says its scope covers, “power semiconductors with envelope tracking modules, and products such as mobile devices, tablets, and laptop computers containing the same.”

Arigna Technology has lodged this complaint with the USITC in support of its suit against the same companies filed with the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in February 2022. That suit is the core of the complaint, and alleges that all big tech is infringing on its wireless patents.

The wireless patents at the heart of the trial in filed in Texas are mostly about modems and hardware, which none of the sued companies make for themselves. It’s not clear why the company isn’t suing the licensors of the technology, instead of the big tech companies that use the products in question.

The Dublin company is a non-practicing entity (NPE), which is currently involved in many patent suits. It reportedly acquired over 30 patent assets from Mitsubishi Electric in February 2020. So far, it has been using them to sue companies in the automotive industry.

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