US trade panel probes eight smartphone vendors

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US trade panel probes eight smartphone vendors

Investigates after patent complaint.

The US International Trade Commission is launching an investigation into mobile devices made by eight smartphone vendors including Samsung Electronics over an alleged patent violation.

The probe follows a complaint filed by Singapore-based Creative Technology and US-based Creative Labs that several handset makers have infringed on their patent, the ITC said in a statement.

The accused vendors are ZTE, Sony, Samsung, LG Electronics, Lenovo, Motorola Mobility, HTC Corp and Blackberry Ltd.

"The products at issue in the investigation are portable electronic devices such as smartphones, with the capability of playing stored media files selected by a user from a hierarchical display," the ITC wrote.

The trade panel said it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case, and will decide a target date for completing the investigation within 45 days after it has commenced.

Creative Technology was not immediately available for comment. HTC said it could not comment as the case has entered the court process.

Samsung and LG said they were looking into the case and didn't have any other immediate comment. Sony declined to comment. ZTE, Lenovo and other vendors were not immediately available.

"It's rare to see so many vendors involved in one patent infringement case," said research firm Canalys analyst Nicole Peng.

While the share price reaction of most Asia-based companies was muted, Hong Kong-listed shares of ZTE tumbled 11 percent on Friday to their lowest since July 2013.

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