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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today announced that it is launching an investigation to determine whether Apple's mobile devices and Macs violate patents owned by Japanese consumer electronics company Maxell. [PDF]


Maxell filed a complaint with the USITC on July 17, alleging that Apple's mobile devices, tablets, smartwatches, and laptop computers violate patents related to passcode unlocking, WiFi assist, mobile communications, facial recognition in the Photos app, and more.
Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on July 17, 2020, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, on behalf of Maxell, Ltd. of Japan. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain mobile electronic devices and laptop computers by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,203,517 ("the '517 patent"); U.S. Patent No. 8,982,086 ("the '086 patent"); U.S. Patent No. 7,199,821 ("the '821 patent"); U.S. Patent No. 10,129,590 ("the '590 patent"); and U.S. Patent No. 10,176,848 ("the '848 patent"). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by the applicable Federal Statute.
Maxell is asking that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order to prevent Apple from importing infringing devices into the U.S.

The USITC plans to make a final determination in the investigation as quickly as possible. Within 45 days after investigation begins, the USITC will set a target date for completion.

Article Link: U.S. International Trade Commission Investigating Whether Apple Infringed on Maxell Patents
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macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
Before we get into the "troll" argument nonsense, it should be noted that Maxell is a big international company with an office in Texas, and has licensed these patents to BLU, ZTE, ASUS, Olympus, and Canon. This is, most definitely, not a troll.


macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2007
New York City
I fail to see how is being 2 Trillion Dollar Company has to do with whether they infringed on a Third Party's IP or not. Some people cheer for Apple here as if they were your favorite Sports Team.... "No one can beat my Apple"!

Yep. They actually have lost quite a few lawsuits this year. Being a trillion-dollar company doesn't mean they always win:



macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
I fail to see how is being 2 Trillion Dollar Company has to do with whether they infringed on a Third Party's IP or not. Some people cheer for Apple here as if they were your favorite Sports Team.... "No one can beat my Apple"!

I agree with your sentiment, but the ITC is political in some ways and errs on not disturbing large US companies. "Too big to exclude" is a term that's been thrown around lately in ITC circles; and there are some "sacred cows" at the ITC, so to speak. GM and Ford have been the classic examples, but it is likely Apple is another.

Besides the merits of infringement, the ITC also looks at public interest. It's getting increasingly difficult to show that cutting off US consumers from future imports of iPhones and iPads would not harm the public -- especially in this increasingly remote pandemic/post-pandemic world.
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macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
A giant easy target with deep pockets creates long lines for the lawsuit lottery. If you don’t play, you can’t win.


macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2007
New Mexico
Is this related to loading programs from Maxell cassette tapes on the Apple ][e?
I think I did that one time. Does anyone even remember when that actually was a thing? LOL

On an IMSAI 8080 you had to toggle in a short binary "program" to tell it how to run the cassette recorder, then load the OS from the recorder. Back when things just worked...or it was usually your own fault when they didn't. :)


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
Cash is king. Just look at the valuation of the company today.

Red herring.

Are you suggesting it's inconceivable that a company with a $2 trillion market cap can or would infringe on a patent(s)?

It's not as if Apple's never done it before.

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