On July 8, 2011, Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that HTC Corp. of Taiwan and HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington (collectively, “HTC”), and Exedea, Inc. of Houston, Texas (“Exedea”) (all collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain portable electronic devices and related software that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,844,915 (the ‘915 patent), 7,469,381 (the ‘381 patent), 7,084,859 (the ‘859 patent), 7,920,129 (the ‘129 patent) and 6,956,564 (the ‘564 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to hardware and software used in a variety of portable electronic devices. In particular, the ‘915 patent relates to user interface software interacting with a software application to enable the recognition and processing of gestures on a multitouch display. The ‘381 patent relates to a scrolling method for a touch screen display that allows a user to scroll to and past the end of a displayed document in a natural and intuitive manner by using a “bounce-back” or “rubber band” effect when the edge of a document is reached. The ‘859 patent relates to a number of gestures that a user can use on multitouch sensitive display screens to control the contents of the screen or data presented on the screen or otherwise represented in the computer system. The ‘129 patent relates to designs for capacitive touch-sensitive panels. Lastly, the ‘564 patent relates to the implementation and use of accelerometers and movement sensors in portable electronic devices, including handheld computing devices, to improve viewing orientation.
In the complaint, Apple alleges that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to various HTC smartphones and tablet computers that include or contain software based on the Android operating system as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Apple states that it makes extensive use of the inventions claimed in the asserted patents in numerous products, including its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch products. According to the complaint, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are developed in the U.S., manufactured abroad, and sold within the U.S. Apple states that it has made significant investment in plant and equipment in the U.S. with respect to Apple products that practice the asserted patents. Apple specifically refers to its headquarters in Cupertino, California, its land in Cupertino, California intended for the future development of its second corporate campus, its data center in Newark, California, and its land in North Carolina intended for a new data center facility that is currently under construction. According to the complaint, substantially all of the research, development, design, engineering, and testing of the Apple products that practice the asserted patents was completed by Apple employees working in the U.S. Additionally, Apple states that as of September 25, 2010, it had opened a total of 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the U.S.
As to related litigation, Apple states that on March 2, 2010, it filed a complaint against HTC, HTC (BVI) Corp., and Exedea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleging infringement of the ‘381 patent. Apple further states that on April 15, 2011, it filed suit against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and related entities in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging infringement of the ‘381 and ‘915 patents. Apple states that both of these district court cases are currently pending. Apple additionally states that, concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it will file a civil action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware accusing the Proposed Respondents of infringing the ‘915, ‘859, ‘129, and ‘564 patents.
With respect to potential remedy, Apple requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents and others acting on their behalf.