The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) says it will open an investigation into possible patent violations involving touch-controlled mobile phones, computers and computer parts by Apple, Amazon, and other companies following a complaint filed by Neodron Ltd of Ireland, reports Reuters.
Neodron complains that the companies had violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by infringing the company’s patent, and asked the ITC to issue cease and desist orders. Reuters says the ITC’s decision to open an investigation doesn’t constitute any decision on the merits of the case
In February Neodron sued Apple, alleging the tech giant infringes on its patents for capacitive keyboards and sensors such as those used in the iPhone 11 and third-generation iPad Pro.
Neodron appears to be a “patent troll.” A “patent troll” is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.