June 30, 2006
News Release 06-066
Inv. No. 337-TA-576
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN PORTABLE DIGITAL MEDIA PLAYERS AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain portable digital media players and components thereof . The products at issue in this investigation are devices that play audio digital media files and, in some cases, also store and manage other digital information, such as video files, photographs, calenders, and address books.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Apple Computer, Inc., of Cupertino, CA, on June 1, 2006. An amended complaint was filed on June 6, 2006. Supplements to the amended complaint were filed on June 7 and 22, 2006. The amended complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain portable digital media players and components thereof that infringe four patents owned by Apple. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders.

The ITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

Creative Technology, Ltd., of Singapore; and
Creative Labs, Inc., of Milpitas, CA.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-576), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Robert L. Barton, Jr., an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Barton 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.

The ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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