The United States International Trade Commission today announced that it has launched an investigation into allegations that Apple infringed on patents owned by Aqua Connect.
Back in October, Aqua Connect and its subsidiary Strategic Technology partners filed complaints against Apple with the United States International Trade Commission and the District Court for the Central District of California accusing Macs, iOS devices, and Apple TVs of infringing on two of its patents.
The two patents in question include U.S. Patent RE46,386, "Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived Computer System Environment" and U.S. Patent 8,924,502, "System, Method and Computer Program Product for Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived System Environment."
According to Aqua Connect, both of the patents relate to screen sharing, remote desktop, and terminal server technology. Aqua Connect says that it built the first remote desktop solution for the Mac in 2008, which Apple later built into its iOS and macOS products in the form of AirPlay and other functionality without permission.
"Aqua Connect invented and built the first fully functional remote desktop and terminal server solution for Mac in 2008," said Ronnie Exley, CEO of Aqua Connect. "Initially, our product had Apple's full support. But years later, Apple built our technology into its macOS and iOS operating systems without our permission. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple from continuing to use our technology in their macOS and iOS operating systems."
Aqua Connect's complaint with the International Trade Commission asks for an exclusion order and a cease and desist order that would bar Apple from importing its products into the United States. The ITC says it will be investigating "certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs."
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Aqua Connect, Inc., and Strategic Technology Partners, LLC, of Orange, CA, on October 10, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain personal computers, mobile devices, digital media players, and microconsoles that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a temporary exclusion order and a temporary cease and desist order based on a motion for temporary relief, and that the USITC ultimately issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
Aqua Connect's patent infringement lawsuit separately accuses Apple of willful infringement and seeks damages.