The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is to look into claims that Apple's smartphones and portable devices infringe patents held by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC.
HTC started proceedings last month with claims that a total of five different patents were being infringed by Apple, with specific technology relating to mobile phone software and energy management.
HTC is requesting that an embargo is put on Apple's products, effectively making it impossible for the firm to import them from their country of manufacture into the USA.
Apple made claims against HTC earlier in the year and the battle is believed to be a side swipe at Google, which relies on HTC for the hardware for its own Nexus One smartphone and also to propagate the Android operating system.
In recent years, the ITC has been asked by various mobile manufacturers to investigate patent-related matters and the threat of banning imports is commonly used.
As competition heats up, more and more suits and counter-suits are being brought by smartphone firms from all sides, both in the US and on an international scale.
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