15 November 2017
Washington DC
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Apple under ITC investigation over remote desktop patents

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) will investigate Apple over the alleged infringement of patents relating to remote desktop software.

Aqua Connect and its subsidiary, Strategic Technology Partners, requested that the ITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order against Apple for infringing its patents through the importation of Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods and Apple TVs.

The ITC will set a deadline for a final determination in the investigation within 45 days of its institution.

Aqua sued Apple in October at the US District Court for the Central District of California over the same patents. It accused Apple of ending a previous agreement with Aqua which saw the two cooperating over technology that allowed users to securely and efficiently view and control Mac operating systems.

In its complaint, the remote desktop company said that for many years no one could overcome barriers that stopped the remote control of computers on Macs, but in 2008 the company’s chief technology officer, Joseph Cohen, invented a solution and secured patent protection for these inventions.

Apple had worked with Aqua on development and sale of the technology, but in 2011, Aqua says that Apple abruptly stopped cooperating and soon after released its Lion operating system, which included a redesigned remote desktop system.

Around the same time, Apple also launched its Airplay Mirroring systems for its iPhone and iPad devices.

Aqua says that these features use its patented technology without permission.

Alongside the limited exclusion order at the ITC, Aqua is seeking a damages and an injunction against Apple at the Californian court.

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