IBM's infringement complaint about some Asustek Computer products will be investigated by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
The ITC said in a statement on Friday that the case would be referred to an administrative law judge who will hold a hearing to determine whether or not IBM's allegations could be upheld.
That decision will also be subject to review by the ITC commissioners.
Last month the computer giant complained to the ITC that Asustek products and components including motherboards, graphic cards, and notebook computers, had infringed three IBM-owned patents.
IBM has requested that a cease and desist order and an exclusion order be issued to its Tawain-based rival.
Asustek has denied the allegations. ®