Saxon Innovations of Tyler, a patent-holding company from Texas, is reported to have claimed that up to three patents it owned had been violated by six companies that import handsets into the United States, including Research in Motion, Palm and Nokia.
The firm has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on December 19th last year, and the commission voted on Thursday to investigate the claim. ITC could bar the handheld makers if it considers the complaint to be legitimate, and the companies will not be able to import in the country products that contain the patented inventions.
According to Saxon's claim, the Nokia N73 mobile phone is violating two of the three patents, while the company's N95 handset violates the third. At the same time, RIM's BlackBerry 8100 Pearl mobile phone is stated to violate two of the patents, the same as Palm's Treo 700p device, says Saxon's complaint.
Back in July 2007, Saxon purchased three patents that constituted the issue we learn about. One of the patents was for a keypad monitor with keypad activity-based activation, one for an apparatus and method for disabling interrupt marks in processors and the likes, while the third was for a device and method for interprocessor communication by using mailboxes owned by processor devices. In 2007, the company acquired around 180 U.S. patents owned by Advanced Micro Devices or Legerity, as stated in its ITC complaint.
During the past few years, large industry players like Microsoft, Intel or IBM have pushed the U.S. Congress to turn it into a difficult action for patent holders to file claims. The vendors have complained that patent-holding firms can win too easily huge patent awards against large companies that sell products that could contain a wide range of patents.
Saxon's complaint with ITC also names companies like High Tech Computer of Taiwan and a U.S. subsidiary, Panasonic of Japan and two subsidiaries, as well as AVC Networks of Japan. The complaint is stated to involve the “so-called Section 337 violations of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.”