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Who’s Trying To Ban iPhones Now?

Samsung didn’t succeed in getting a ban on the importation of select Apple products in 2013, but haptic-feedback company Immersion thinks it can get a ban on importing select iPhones and the Apple Watch in 2016.

 In a patent-infringement complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Apple and AT&T, the San Jose company is seeking a ban on the importation of the Apple products. Immersion also filed a patent-infringement suit against both companies to stop infringement and recover damages.

Immersion previously sued HTC over haptic technology but announced a settlement in March 2015.

Immersion contends that the Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Apple iPhone 6s, Apple iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition infringe select patents covering haptic-feedback systems and methods in electronic devices.

Immersion, founded in 1993, claims its technologies are used in “billions of devices” ranging from smartphones to tablets, wearables, medical devices, automobiles and gaming peripherals. Its technology is also licensed for use in game software.  The company also claims 2,100 issued or pending patents in the U.S., China and other countries.

Immersion generated $51.8 million in revenue in calendar 2014, up 12 percent, but net income fell to $4.1 million from a year-ago $40.2 million.

In 2013, Samsung persuaded the ITC to ban certain older cellular-equipped iPads and iPhones operating on the AT&T network because of patent infringement, but in August of that year, the Obama administration vetoed the ban

Also in 2013, the ITC ordered Samsung at Apple’s behest ordered Samsung to stop importing select older Samsung phones. The Obama administration declined to veto that ban.