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US will consider blocking imports of Nintendo Switch

The International Trade Commission is investigating Nintendo.

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The Nintendo Switch
James Martin/CNET

Nintendo is officially under investigation.

Today, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it's going to take a closer look at "certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers and components thereof" produced by Nintendo. In other words, the Nintendo Switch.

Why now? A company called Gamevice says the Nintendo Switch infringes on its patents for detachable controllers. Gamevice is asking the ITC for a "limited exclusion order" or a cease and desist order, to keep Nintendo from importing the Switch into the United States. At this point, we don't really know if that's likely to happen: the ITC says it "has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case." If history's any judge, it's not very likely.

Gamevice also sued Nintendo last August for the same reason, but court records show Gamevice decided to drop the case voluntarily in October. 

Here's what the Gamevice for iPhone looks like. We weren't huge fans:

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The GameVice for iPhone.

Sean Hollister/CNET

 "We have nothing to announce on this topic," a Nintendo representative told CNET.

Gamevice didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

(via Reuters)