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USITC probes Samsung over touch screen tech patents

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and six other global tech giants are being investigated by the US International Trade Commission following allegations that they violated patents in their touch-controlled mobile devices, computers and components, according to industry sources Sunday.

The USITC disclosed on its website that it will launch an investigation over allegations that certain touch-controlled devices imported to the US have violated Section 337 of the US Tariff Act.

The complaint was filed by Dublin-based Neodron on May 22, which requested the agency to issue a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders of related products.

The seven companies under probe include Samsung, Motorola Mobility, Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Dell and Amazon. 


Neodron asserted some of the companies’ products violated four patents regarding its touch-controlling technology. It has also filed a lawsuit against them at a local court in Texas.

Including the long-drawn patent dispute with Apple, Samsung has been involved in a number of cases alleging patent violation.

Last year, the USITC started a probe into a complaint filed by a California-based online transaction platform WebXchange that accused Samsung, Apple and Facebook of infringing its patent related to certain internet of things devices and web applications displayed on a web browser.

In 2014, Nvidia filed a similar complaint with the institution, asserting that Samsung and Qualcomm infringed its patents regarding graphics processing. The USITC is probing the matter.

Samsung declined to comment on the case. However, the USITC has not banned or suspending the sales of Samsung products recently, according to a company official.

Other than the USITC probe, the Korean tech giant is embroiled in multiple lawsuits over patent infringements.

A nonprofit organization under the board of New Mexico University in the US sued it for violating semiconductor patents being used in smartphones and computers last month.

In February, Swatch Group filed a suit against Samsung for infringing the trademark of the Swiss watchmaker, asserting that the Korean firm’s smart watch design looks identical to some of its products and demanded $100 million in damages.

“Global IT companies are exposed to frequent legal disputes involving technology patents,” said an industry official. “Samsung is even more exposed to such risks because it is a comprehensive tech group providing semiconductors, mobile devices and home electronics.”

By Song Su-hyun (