Apple is next under the patent spotlight after Motorola Mobility filed a complaint last month, claiming the iPhone and iPad maker had infringed seven of its patents.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said today it will investigate Apple citing Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act 1930, a section of the law that could see the firm's products banned from entering the United States.
The ITC announced today that its probe will cover Apple iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Mac computers. The trade body doesn't offer many details, but states it will probe, "certain wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, computers, and components thereof," which allegedly infringe Motorola Mobility's U.S.-held patents.
FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller notes in a blog post:
Google undoubtedly hopes that Motorola Mobility's lawsuits against Apple may at some point lead to a situation in which Apple may back down and tolerate unfettered infringement of its rights by Google and its device maker partners -- which I doubt very much to be honest.
The complaint has come a week before the ITC ruled that Apple had not violated three 3G patents owned by Motorola Mobility, a division of Google, which bought the company in 2011 for $12.5 billion. A fourth patent was sent back to a judge to determine whether any Apple products have infringed the technology. As sister site CNET noted, it could take more than a year before a decision is made.