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Friday, February 19, 2010, 05:30 am PT (08:30 am ET)

ITC to review Apple's patent infringement claims against Nokia

As expected, the U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate Apple's complaint against handset maker Nokia over alleged patent infringement.

Apple's complaint with the ITC, filed in January, was made in response to Nokia's own ITC complaint in December. The two technology giants are currently engaged in a number of lawsuits accusing the other of violating their respective patents.

According to Bloomberg, the ITC formally agreed this week to review Apple's complaint, which has asked the commission to ban the import of all Nokia handsets.

Weeks ago, the trade agency also agreed to look into Nokia's complaint against Apple, in which the Finnish company requested halting the importation of iPhones, iPods and MacBooks. Nokia's ITC complaint accuses Apple of treading on seven distinct patents applying to user interface, camera, antenna and power management.

The battle first began in October, when Nokia sued Apple over the use of patented wireless standards. Nokia has alleged that the iPhone maker has infringed on GSM and wireless LAN related patents it owns.

Two months later, Apple countersued Nokia over its own patented technologies. Apple has alleged that Nokia has attempted to obtain more money from it than other companies, as well as rights to Apple's intellectual property.

It is the third ITC investigation the Apple is officially involved in. This week the ITC also announced it would look into camera maker Kodak's complaint against Apple, which alleges the iPhone infringes on patents the company owns related to previewing digital images. Handset maker Research in Motion and its line of Blackberries are also targeted in the suit.