ITC investigating LG, Samsung for patent violations

The U.S. International Trade Commission is officially investigating whether Samsung and LG have violated tariffs by importing phones with digital camera technology that Kodak says it holds patents for.

Kodak, which gets a significant portion of its revenues from licenses, sued LG and Samsung in November in U.S. District Court in Rochester. The complaint centers on six separate entities that fall under the Samsung and LG brands: Samsung Electronics Company based in South Korea; Samsung Electronics America of Ridgefield Park, N.J.; Samsung Telecommunications America from Richardson, Texas; LG Electronics in South Korea; LG Electronics USA based in of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; and LG Electronics MobileComm USA based in San Diego.

At the time of the initial filing, LG defended its position. "Our digital-camera technology is different from the one used by Kodak. We haven't infringed upon Kodak's related patents," said LG Electronics spokesman Choi Jun-hyuk. "We'll actively deal with the case."

In a separate move, the ITC is also investigating whether more than a dozen companies have violated tariff rules by importing flash memory chips and other flash memory products that Spansion says it holds patents for. Some of the companies involved in that case include Apple and Research In Motion.

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