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FTC opens investigation into Apple infringement allegations

THE US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it’s looking into a complaint alleging that many Apple devices infringe on rights held by Aqua Connect Inc. and Strategic Technology Partners, LLC. 

The investigation covers a wide range of Apple products, including Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods and Apple TVs, and, as with any complaint that calls for a temporary cease and desist on sale of the devices, could theoretically cause problems for Apple’s device sales in the country.

More realistically, if the FTC does uphold the complaint – more specific details of which haven’t been made public as yet – Apple will work to come to a settlement agreement with the two companies alleging infringement to avoid its devices being pulled off sale. 

The allegation, filed on 10 November, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act 1930. This section rules “whether there is unfair competition in the importation of products into, or their subsequent sale in, the United States. Section 337 declares the infringement of a U.S. patent, copyright, registered trademark, or mask work to be an unlawful practice in import trade.”

It’s also the provision by which other unfair methods of competition or importation are declared unlawful by the FTC. 

With the investigation now officially opened, the FTC has 45 days to set a date for the completion of it. 

Meanwhile, in Korea, Apple is being investigated once again over allegations that it’s passing off the cost of advertising its devices to local carriers, according to PatentlyApple. It’s a situation that isn’t entirely new to Apple, having been ordered to pay around $5.7m in France for misleading advertising techniques. µ

Source : Inquirer

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