ITC launches probe in Creative vs. Apple patent dispute

Creative Technology said today that the U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to launch an investigation into whether Apple’s iPod infringes on Creative’s U.S. Patent 6,928,433, which the company refers to as the “Zen Patent.” Creative filed the complaint with the ITC last month alongside a patent lawsuit against Apple. The company alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 regarding the importation of iPods into the U.S., which Creative claims infringe on its patent. Creative is requesting the blockage of iPod shipments into the country.
From Creative’s announcement of the ITC probe: “By instituting this investigation (337-TA-573), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Paul J. Luckern, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing, which is typically heard in approximately five to eight months. Judge Luckern will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission. Typically the Commission will issue its ruling in 12 to 15 months of the institution of the investigation.”

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