8 big tech giants involved in 337 investigation?Irish company says it infringes on its touchscreen technology patent

On March 18, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has recently voted on certain capacitive touch-controlled mobile devices, computers and their components (including touch smartphones, touch tablets, touch laptops, etc.). ) launched the “337 investigation”, which involved technology giants such as Amazon, Apple, Asus, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics, and Sony.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed on February 14, 2020 by Neodron in Dublin, Ireland, according to a USITC announcement.

For Apple, Neodron pointed out that the iPhone 11, iPad Pro and other products infringed on its 4 patents related to touch keyboard and touch sensing. This batch of touch screen patents was obtained by Neodron from Atmel in Silicon Valley in 2018, and then started a patent battle with this weapon.

The decision comes a month after the Irish company Neodron filed a complaint alleging Apple, Amazon and a number of other tech companies infringed on four of its patents related to touchscreen technology. In the complaint, Neodron seeks a suspension and cease-and-desist order against the alleged violator.

It is understood that Neodron is a shell company established in Ireland at the end of 2018. Before that, it has repeatedly filed patent infringement lawsuits against several well-known high-tech companies in the industry, which is what the industry calls “patent trolls”. What will be the final result of the lawsuits against Amazon, Apple, etc., Xintoutiao will continue to pay attention to the progress.

According to the list released by USITC, the companies involved in Neodron’s 337 investigation requested by USITC are as follows:

Amazon.com, Inc. of Seattle, Washington;

Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California, USA;

ASUS Computer Corporation, Taipei, Taiwan, China;

ASUS Computer International, Fremont, California, USA;

LG Electronics Inc. of Seoul, South Korea;

LG Electronics USA, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA;

Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Washington, USA;

Motorola Mobility LLC, Chicago, Illinois, USA;

Suwon Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Korea;

Samsung Electronics America, Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA;

Sony Corporation of Tokyo, Japan;

Sony Mobile Communications in Tokyo, Japan.

A brief introduction to the “337 Survey”

Section 337 investigation refers to an investigation conducted by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (“Section 337”) and related amendments , all unfair competition practices or any unfair trade practices in exports to the United States are prohibited.

Compared with the judicial protection of intellectual property in the United States, it has the characteristics of a wide range of protection, easy case filing, short cycle, jurisdiction over things, and severe penalties. The scope of its protection covers patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, trade dress, parallel import protection, defamation of corporate goodwill, infringement of contractual relationships, interference or obstruction of business practices, etc. In addition to intellectual property rights, it also includes “unfair acts or methods” resulting from other infringements.

Since 90% of the “337 investigation” cases are related to intellectual property rights, it is considered to be mainly used for the protection of intellectual property rights. But we need to know that the “337 investigation” is not limited to one country’s investigation, but has a wide-ranging impact on the world. In 2019, there were 24 “337 investigations” faced by Chinese companies, of which 20 were patent infringements, accounting for 74%. China can be described as the hardest hit area of ​​the “337 investigation”.

Facing the “337 investigation”, Chinese enterprises should actively respond, strengthen independent intellectual property innovation, do a good job in intellectual property layout, establish and improve the early warning mechanism of intellectual property rights, and take the opportunity of responding to lawsuits to enhance the reputation of enterprises, so that enterprises can get better results. development of.

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