Apple faces US ITC inquiry in patent dispute

USITC to investigate Apple Macs and iPhones

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) will investigate Apple over the alleged infringement of patents relating to remote desktop software.

Aqua Connect's complaint with the International Trade Commission asks for an exclusion order and a cease and desist order that would bar Apple from importing its products into the United States.

Apple products in the investigation include "certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs". Apple shares have gained 48% this year, with the S&P 500 index gaining 15%. Aqua Connect says that it built the first remote desktop solution for the Mac in 2008, which Apple later built into its iOS and macOS products in the form of AirPlay and other functionality without permission. It accused Apple of ending a previous agreement with Aqua which saw the two cooperating over technology that allowed users to securely and efficiently view and control Mac operating systems. (AAPL) over allegations that numerous iPhone maker's best-selling devices feature patented technology stolen from another company. Aqua Connect believes that tool is based on its intellectual property.

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Last week, Corephotonics, an Israeli maker of dual-lens camera technologies for smartphones, filed suit against Apple, alleging patent infringement by iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus, according a report by the Apple news site Macrumors.

The ITC's chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of the agency's administrative law judges (ALJs), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.

The ITC will set a deadline for a final determination in the investigation within 45 days of its institution.

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