US trade regulators voted to probe wearable vendors Fitbit and Garmin for infringing on patents held by Philips, which could result in the cessation of sales of the companies’ products in the country.
In a statement from the US International Trade Commission (USITC), US-based distributor Ingram Micro, and China-based technology companies Maintek Computer and Inventec Appliances were also listed as respondents to the complaint by Philips.
The trade regulator said it would look into wearable monitoring devices, systems and components from the accused companies.
Philips called for tariffs or an import ban on the companies, after accusing them of either misusing or employing its patents without permission.
The USITC noted while it had opened the investigation, it is yet make its decision “on the merits of the case”. A hearing will follow once a judge is appointed. USITC said it will “make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time”.