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Apple Faces Probe Over Patent Infringement

AppleThe U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is investigating Apple after a former partner-company lodged a patent infringement complaint against the tech giant.

A Reuters report said the complaint, which was filed by the California-based Aqua Connect Inc. and Strategic Technology Partners with the USITC on October 10, claimed that Apple used Aqua’s patented software on various gadgets.

Products in Question

The same Reuters article quoted the commission saying that the investigation will cover products like “certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs.”

Strategic Technology Partners is owned by Aqua Connect. Appleinsider.com said Strategic Technology spun off from Aqua Connect “to hold patents in a dedicated subsidiary.”

The USITC is handling the investigation since it presides over trade activities in and out of the U.S. and it has the authority to block imports of Apple’s products if it determines that Apple violated trade and patent rules.

Cases filed at the USITC take a year to three years at the most before they are resolved, appleinsider.com said.

No Comment Yet

Apple has not issued any comment on Aqua Connect’s complaint as of this writing.

According to a Mashable report, Aqua Connect’s complaint primarily focuses on Apple’s AirPlay technology.

The system allows audio and video streaming across various Apple gadgets.


The report also said Aqua Connect sells software that allows Macs to be accessed remotely, and Aqua Connect alleged that Apple took the software after terminating the partnership in 2011.


Aqua Connect claimed that Apple previously “worked closely” with it, particularly on development and sales, before severing ties “abruptly and without explanation.”

Aqua Connect noted that several months after, Apple came out with a Lion operating system with a built-in screen-sharing tool, which the complainant claims, was based on its intellectual property.

The company alleged that several Apple-related tools violate patent rules, including the screen-mirroring option within AirPlay.

Mashable said Apple frequently faces patent infringement claims but had been cleared of the accusations.

What’s Next?

What can you say about the patent infringement case filed against Apple? Share them by commenting below.

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