The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has said that it will launch a probe into claims that Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer HTC infringed portable communications patents held by Apple, a complaint that was first issued in July.

The ITC issued a press release on Monday stating that it had voted to institue an investigation into legal action brought by Apple against HTC over patents related to portable communications devices, such a user interfaces.

Apple has requested that the USITC issues an exclusion order and a cease and desist order which would effectively ban the import and sale of infringing HTC smartphones and tablets in the US. The authority will assign the case to one of its judges, who will then schedule and begin evidentiary hearings on the complaint.

Last week, the ITC said it will look into complaints made by Apple that Samsung had copied the designs and packaging of its iPhone and iPad devices, to determine if the Korean vendor had infringed on patents protecting its smartphone and tablet products.

Recent reports have suggested that despite legal action to the contrary, Apple will not seek a ban on products accused of infringing on the Cupertino-based company’s patents, with the company likely to license its intellectual property rights to both HTC and Samsung.

HTC has repeatedly vowed to fight the charges levied against it and has said it will safeguard its intellectual property rights. The company recent completed the acquisitions of S3 Graphics and Dashwire, boosting its patent portfolio in light of action brought against it by Apple.