Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen being investigated in the US for patent infringement

The U.S. International Trade Commission has instituted an investigation into charges relating to the cars' infotainment and other systems

As car automation technologies like navigation and infotainment systems emerge as the next big opportunity for the automotive industry, patent disputes similar to those seen in the smartphone business have not unexpectedly surfaced in the industry.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to announce Wednesday an investigation into charges by Advanced Silicon Technologies in Portsmouth, New Hampshire that a number of car makers like Honda, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen, and component makers like Harman, Texas Instruments and Renesas Electronics infringe on certain claims of four of its patents relating, among other things, to car infotainment systems, according to a notice by the ITC on the U.S. Federal Register.

The investigation under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 could lead to a ban by the ITC on the import and sale of the infringing products in the U.S., if the infringement is proven. The patents assigned to Advanced Silicon were previously held by Advanced Micro Devices which also holds a non-exclusive license to them in the U.S., according to Advanced Silicon's filing in December before the ITC.

The accused products include infotainment systems, head-end units, navigation systems, graphics processors, microprocessors and other computing or graphics-capable electronics devices, and the vehicles containing such components and systems.

Advanced Silicon Technologies had in December also sued these companies for infringement and consequent damages in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for allegedly infringing some or all of these four patents.

A number of patent holding companies, also known as 'patent trolls,' accumulate patents to sue for damages, but don't have their products competing in the market.

Unified Patents, a member-based organization that aims to counter these non-practicing entities, said in July last year that almost all the litigation in the automotive sector is NPE-based as such entities find the sector "is a ripe place to purchase patents for the goal of assertion." Most of the litigation is in the area of safety and infotainment systems.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?