By Alex Gasser
On February 4, 2011, LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea (“LG”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Sony Corporation of Japan, Sony Corporation of America of New York, New York, Sony Electronics, Inc. of San Diego, California, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. of Japan, and Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC of Foster City, California (collectively, “Sony”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain electronic devices having a Blu-ray Disc player and components thereof that infringe various claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,701,835 (the ‘835 patent), 7,577,080 (the ‘080 patent), 7,619,961 (the ‘961 patent), and 7,756,398 (the ‘398 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to the playback of Blu-ray Discs, i.e., the reproduction of data recorded on Blu-ray Disc media.  In particular, the ‘835 patent relates to a data structure for managing the reproduction of data streams, which may represent one or more reproduction paths, e.g. multiple camera angles, that are recorded on a Blu-ray Disc.  The ‘080 patent relates to a method and apparatus for reproducing data from a Blu-ray Disc, including a linking area linking a neighboring data area.  The ‘961 patent relates to a method and apparatus for reproducing data stored in a Blu-ray Disc, including a linking data area that is preceded and followed by a real data area.  Finally, the ‘398 patent relates to an apparatus for reproducing a text subtitle stream for updating palette information that is recorded on a Blu-ray Disc.

In the complaint, LG alleges that Sony imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the Sony PlayStation3 video game console as an infringing product.

Regarding domestic industry, LG states that it sells Blu-ray Disc players within the U.S. that practice at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.  By way of example, LG names its BD300 Blu-ray Disc player as a product that practices the claimed inventions.  With respect to the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, LG states that is has made and continues to make significant investments in plant facilities and equipment within the U.S. in connection with the service and engineering of products covered by the asserted patents.  LG specifically refers to its facilities in Huntsville, Alabama and Rancho Cucamonga, California as facilities that are involved with products covered by the asserted patents.

With respect to potential remedy, LG requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at Sony.