The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has announced a formal investigation of the multi-level cell Flash memory market.
Apple, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, RIM, Samsung and Sony are among the companies scheduled for investigation, the USITC said, after a complaint in July by the former British Technology Group (BTG).
BTG claimed that its patents had been infringed, and that technology used by the named companies is therefore illegal. The firm asked for a cease-and-desist order against the importation of chips using the technology.
"By instituting this investigation, the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case," the organisation said in a statement.
"The USITC's chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of six administrative law judges, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The judges will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation."
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