The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain mobile electronic devices and radio frequency and processing components thereof. The products at issue in the investigation are primarily certain smartphone models offered by Apple, Inc. that incorporate technologies to enhance carrier aggregation functionality, power-efficient radio frequency (RF) signal reception, power-efficient processor and memory architectures, and image processing.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Qualcomm Incorporated of San Diego, CA, on November 30, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain mobile electronic devices and radio frequency and processing components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
The USITC has identified Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, as the respondent in this investigation.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1093), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.