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ITC investigates Apple, Amazon and others for alleged patent infringements on the touchscreen

L'International Trade Commission (ITC), the federal body that often deals with patent infringement, has made it known that it intends to investigate a number of companies – including Apple, – regarding patent infringement claims involving computers and other devices.

To report it Reuters explaining that the decision comes a month after the patent troll Irish Neodron (a "non-practicing entity") filed with ITC stating that Apple, Amazon and a number of other IT companies allegedly infringed four patents related to touchscreen technology.

The non-practicing Irish entity filed a series of lawsuits against it in February Apple, Amazon, Asus, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung is Sony, trying to obtain royalties based on the sale of the devices; in addition to smartphones, the various lawsuits refer to tablets and laptops that integrate touchscreen technology and that would have violated the intellectual property held by the entity.

As for Apple, Neodron points the finger at the third generation 12.9 ″ iPhone 11 and iPad Pro, devices that – according to him – would violate four patents which describe a touchscreen keyboard and a touch sensor technology.

Neodron bought a small series of patents on touchscreens in 2018 from the Atmel company based in Silicon Valley and subsequently moved quickly to try to earn money by suing the various big names in the sector

Apple calls on Europe to stop patent trolls

As we have already explained here, Neodron an Irish facade company born in 2018, known for its continuous attempts to sue big names, saying that companies such as Apple, Amazon, Dell, HP and Samsung would have infringed on patents owned by it. Patent trolls are entities that base their economic activity on the generalized and indiscriminate registration of as many patents as possible, in order to request the payment of the related royalties to anyone who uses those technologies or production methods.

For years, the IT sector has been fighting with patent trolls that register patents relating to abstract and sometimes rather obvious ideas, which in practice are not applied or to be exploited to obtain money from developers of similar technologies who use them in real projects and products. Joint efforts in the sector have led to the invalidation of various patents but changes to the US patent system and mechanisms are needed to prevent the falsification or distortion of the facts, conceal documents and fight companies and entrepreneurs with few scruples.

In January of this year, Apple and 34 other multinationals urged Europe to prevent patent trolls from blackmailing companies to license the claimed technology to them. In the letter, the various companies and four industrial groups pointed out to the authorities that the patent trolls are stifling innovation, asking for strict rules to prevent blackmail.

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