ITC confirms investigation of Samsung at Ericsson's request

Ericsson hopes to prevent some of Samsung's products being imported to the U.S. because of alleged patent violations

The U.S. International Trade Commission is investigating Samsung for possible trade violations in response to a complaint filed by Swedish network equipment vendor Ericsson.

The ITC said it's investigating whether a wide range of Samsung products, including smartphones, tablets and televisions, are being imported to the U.S. in violation of U.S. trade law. Ericsson says the products infringe some of its patents. If the ITC agrees, it can stop the products being imported.

The investigation follows a complaint filed by Ericsson on Nov. 30. The ITC will assign the case to an administrative law judge for an evidentiary hearing and review the judge's findings, it said Thursday.

Ericsson's headquarters are in Stockholm, but the company also has a U.S. subsidiary in Plano, Texas.

In addition to selling smartphones and other consumer products, Samsung is trying to build out a mobile network business in Europe. In August, it won a deal to build an LTE radio access network for UK operator Three.

Late last month, Samsung responded to Ericsson's complaint by filing a similar complaint of its own, also with the ITC.

The tit-for-tat between the two firms comes amid a torrent of patent litigation brought by companies in courts and before trade bodies worldwide, with much of it over smartphones and tablets. This latest investigation is known as a Section 337 investigation, brought under the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.

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Tags legalconsumer electronicsintellectual propertyEricssondigital rights managementSamsung Electronics

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James Niccolai

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