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They investigate whether Apple and other companies have infringed a patent for capacitive screens of their devices

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The United States International Trade Commission today announced the beginning of a investigation for alleged patent infringement related to the capacitive screens of electronic devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones and components created by Apple, Samsung, Amazon and other firms.

According to Reuters, the companies would have violated section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act. The investigation document (PDF) details that an Irish company called Neodron filed a lawsuit in February against Apple and other companies in reference to this matter.

Now the investigation is ongoing and a decision will have to be made whether the technology companies have violated the patent on Neodron. If so, all firms must pay a million dollar fine for damages.

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The lawsuit filed against Apple, Samsung, Amazon and other companies

The investigation is based on a lawsuit filed by Neodron, Ltd. A company in Dublin, Ireland, on February 14, 2020. The lawsuit involves a large number of companies: Amazon, Apple, ASUSTek, ASUS computer International, LG Electronics, LG Electronics USA, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, and Sony Mobile Communications.

Neodron is seeking a limited cessation and exclusion order against the companies involved in the investigation. The US International Trade Commission has mentioned that the initiation of the investigation does not imply that a decision has already been made.

The case will be assigned to an administrative law judge who will schedule and conduct an evidence session to reach an initial determination on whether there could be a patent infringement trial. Companies like Samsung and Apple face dozens of patent lawsuits each year, but a patent of this magnitude could cause both companies to pay a multi-million dollar fine.