U.S. International Trade Commission investigating Apple for patent infringement

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, it is busy investigating various current and past Apple products that use AirPlay Mirroring and Screen Sharing. This comes after a company and its licensing affiliate, both of which create cross-platform remote-access solutions, filed a complaint.

The companies involved are Aqua Connect and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Strategic Technology Partners.

Reuters recently said the products under investigation included some Mac models, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV and iPods.

The two firms filed a complaint last month regarding Aqua Connect’s terminal server and remote desktop tools. According to Aqua Connect, Apple was closely involved with the development of these applications until as recently as six years ago.

Apple introduced Lion and launched Screen Sharing in July 2011 – and Aqua Connect claims that these features use its patented technology. The firm also claims that AirPlay Mirroring violates the same patents.

They cite two patents in their application: US 8924502 and RE 46386.

It is unclear how Apple Remote Desktop – which made its debut in 2002 and has more features than AirPlay Mirroring or Screen Sharing – fits into the whole issue, since Aqua Connect wasn’t formed until 2007.

The company claims that before starting to use its brainchild, Apple was only offering ‘rudimentary screen sharing functionality’.

Although it is unclear at this stage whether the remote access patents are what the two companies are raising concerns about in the complaint, it appears to be likely. The grievance is case number 8:17-cv-1762 and it was filed in the Federal Court system of Southern California.

Few people would expect a speedy outcome to this conflict. USITC examinations are known to take their time. The average case takes well over a year to be resolved, but some cases have dragged on for three years and even longer.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded blurtit.com which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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