15
Dec
By Eric Schweibenz
On December 14, 2009, the International Trade Commission issued a notice instituting a formal enforcement proceeding relating to a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders issued in connection with the Final Determination in Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-631).

By way of background, this investigation was instituted on January 25, 2008, based on a complaint filed by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”) alleging violation of Section 337 by Sharp Corporation, Sharp Electronics Corporation (“SEC”), and Sharp Electronics Manufacturing Company of America, Inc. (“SEMA”) (collectively, “Sharp”).  On January 26, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the final initial determination (“ID”) finding a violation of Section 337 by Sharp as to U.S. Patent Nos. 6,771,344 (the ‘344 patent) and 6,937,311.  On June 24, 2009, after reviewing in part the ID, the Commission determined that there was a violation of Section 337 as to the ‘344 patent and issued a limited exclusion order directed to all Sharp products found in violation and cease and desist orders directed to SEC and SEMA.  The limited exclusion order prohibits the unlicensed entry of liquid crystal display (“LCD”) devices, including display panels and modules, and LCD televisions or professional displays containing the same that infringe the asserted claims of the ‘344 patent that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, any of the Sharp respondents.  The cease and desist orders prohibit SEC and SEMA from engaging in certain activities in the United States related to the infringing LCD devices.  On December 1, 2009, Samsung filed a complaint for enforcement proceedings alleging that Sharp violated the Commission’s limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders by the continued practice of prohibited activities such as importing, marketing and selling infringing LCD devices, including LCD panels and modules, and LCD televisions and professional displays containing the same.  See our June 26, 2009 post for more details.

In the December 14 notice, the Commission determined to “institute formal enforcement proceedings to determine whether Sharp is in violation of the Commission’s limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders issued in the investigation, and what, if any, enforcement measures are appropriate.”
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