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June 24, 2017

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USITC to probe alleged patent issues in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has decided to launch an investigation into patent infringement allegations against Taiwanese integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), PC vendors Acer Inc. (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) and various other companies.

The USITC said the decision to launch the probe follows a complaint filed in May by U.S.-based Freescale Semiconductor Inc. that accuses the firms of infringing on its patents.

The commission said it will look into certain ICs made on the technology asserted by Freescale, and products containing the same technology, such as wireless communication devices, wireless phones, televisions, optical disk players and tablet computers.

In addition to MediaTek, Acer and Asustek, other high-tech companies from Taiwan, China, Japan and the United States are also accused of patent infringement by the U.S. company.

According to the USITC, other respondents in the case include Taiwanese television maker AmTRAN Technology Co., Japan's Sharp Corp. and Sony Corp., and China's PC vendor Lenovo Group, as well as U.S.-based

The commission said that Freescale has accused the respondents of violating Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 by importing and selling certain ICs owned by the U.S. firm, and products containing the ICs in the U.S. market.

Despite the decision to institute the investigation, the USITC said it has not made any decision on the merits of the case.

The commission's chief administrative law judge will assign the case to a USITC administrative judge (ALJ) who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.

The ALJ will issue an initial decision on the case as to whether the accused have violated the U.S. tariff act, with the preliminary ruling subject to review by the USITC.

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