29
Dec
By Barry Herman
On December 29, 2009, Nokia Corporation of Finland and Nokia Inc. of White Plains, New York (collectively, “Nokia”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the proposed respondent, Apple, Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”), unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the United States after importation certain electronic devices, including mobile phones, portable music players, and computers which allegedly infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,714,091 (the ‘091 patent), 6,834,181 (the ‘181 patent), 6,895,256 (the ‘256 patent), 6,518,957 (the ‘957 patent), 6,073,036 (the ‘036 patent), 6,262,735 (the ‘735 patent), and/or 6,924,789 (the ‘789 patent) (collectively, “the Asserted Patents”).

According to the complaint, Nokia asserts that certain Apple products, including the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS mobile phones, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPod Classic portable music players, and iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air computers directly infringe, contribute to infringement and induce infringement of the Asserted Patents, which are sometimes referred to as “implementation patents.”  These “implementation patents,” which are not essential to any relevant wireless communication standards, “permit Nokia to differentiate its products from those of its competitors.”  According to Nokia, the Asserted Patents relate to the following inventions as follows: (i) the ‘091 patent “relates to a programmable voltage controlled oscillator (“VCO”) that increases the efficiency of the wireless device and uses less power than traditional VCOs, thereby increasing battery life”; (ii) the ‘181 patent relates to combining the antenna and speaker assemblies of mobile phones to reduce the mobile phone’s size and increase its performance; (iii) the ‘256 patent relates to “reducing the overall chip count on a printed circuit board,” which reduces the overall size and power consumption of a device; (iv) the ‘957 patent relates to deactivating the touch screen of a mobile phone during phone calls; (v) the ‘036 patent relates to “magnifying or expanding the portion of the screen pressed by the user’s fingertip”; (vi) the ‘735 patent relates to “a way to link other applications on electronic devices through an electronic message”; and (vii) the ‘789 patent relates to “a way to both press a key to enter data, and to use a touch sensitive input to navigate through applications . . . to provide a more advanced user interactive experience.”

With respect to related litigation, Nokia asserts in its complaint that “concurrent with the filing of this complaint, Nokia Corporation will file a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware accusing Apple of infringement of the Asserted Patents.”

Regarding the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement, Nokia asserts that many of its mobile phones practice the Asserted Patents.  Further, Nokia alleges that it satisfies the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement through “substantial investments in the United States in the exploitation of the Asserted Patents.  These investments include at least domestic engineering, research and development, testing, and repair and service relating to articles protected by the Asserted Patents.”

With respect to potential remedy, Nokia requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed to Apple.
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