US Patent Firms Seeks Ban on Imports of Nokia Mobile Phones

Following a complaint late last year by patent holdings firm, Saxon Innovations, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic devices, including handheld wireless communications devices. The products at issue in this investigation are handheld devices such as smart phones, cellular telephones, and television remote controls.

The ITC has named Nokia, RIM, HTC, Palm, Panasonic and AVC Networks as affected by the investigation – which has the power to block the imports of products made by these firms.

The Saxon Innovations patent portfolio is comprised of over 180 US patents covering technology that originated from AMD and its spin off Legerity.

A letter supplementing the complaint was filed on January 9, 2009. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic devices, including handheld wireless communications devices that infringe patents owned by Saxon Innovations. The complainants requests that the ITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-667), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The ITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the ITC’s six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

Last year, the company initiated legal action against Apple, amongst others for allegedly infringing a couple of its wireless patents.