June 20, 2013 10:02
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday started investigating whether TV sets and smartphones manufactured by Korean and Japanese electronics companies infringe patents held by a patent troll.
The probe follows a complaint filed last month against Samsung, LG, Toshiba, Panasonic and Sharp by Black Hills Media.
Black Hills Media is a patent troll that buys up patents to collect royalties but has no constructive business. The firm claims that the Korean and Japanese companies violated patented technology that allows users to share music files on digital devices.
If the electronics firms are found guilty, the ITC could ask the U.S. president to ban imports of the relevant products, in the worst-case scenario for five years.
LG denies violating any patents and plans to take legal action. Samsung said it is reviewing the complaint.
Korean electronics companies have become prime targets of patent trolls. Samsung and LG are currently embroiled in more than 100 patent infringement disputes in the U.S.
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