ALJ Gildea Denies Motions For Summary Determination In Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music And Data Processing Devices, And Tablet Computers (337-TA-794)
On August 10, 2012, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the revised public versions of Order Nos. 85 and 89 (dated June 1, 2012 and June 6, 2012, respectively) denying Complainants’ motions for summary determination in Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computers (Inv. No. 337-TA-794).
By way of background, the investigation is based on a complaint filed by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively, “Samsung”) alleging violation of Section 337 by Respondent Apple Inc. (“Apple”) in the importation and sale of certain electronic devices, including wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,706,348; 7,486,644; 6,771,980; 6,879,843; and 7,450,114. See our August 1, 2011 post for more details.
In Order No. 85, ALJ Gildea denied Samsung’s motion for summary determination that the importation requirement of Section 337(a)(1)(B) is satisfied for Apple’s accused products. In support of the motion, Samsung and the Commission Investigative Staff both argued that the importation of a single accused product is sufficient to satisfy Section 337’s importation requirement, and that there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding Apple’s acts of importation as its business includes importing and selling electronic devices, such as the accused iPhone4S. Moreover, Apple’s response to Samsung’s complaint acknowledged that the company imports accused products into the United States. However, despite Apple’s admission, ALJ Gildea denied Samsung’s motion, finding that a proper importation analysis must set forth facts establishing that the accused products infringe the asserted patent(s). Quoting the Commission’s opinion in Certain Electronic Devices with Image Processing Systems, Components Thereof, and Associated Software, Inv. No. 337-TA-724, Comm’s Op. at 13 (U.S.I.T.C., Dec. 1, 2011), the ALJ noted that “[b]ecause the statute specifies that the articles in question must ‘infringe,’ an importation analysis that ignores the question of infringement would be incomplete.”
In Order No. 89, ALJ Gildea denied Samsung’s motion for summary determination that Apple maintains commercially-significant inventories of its accused products in the United States. Specifically, the ALJ found that “whether Apple maintains commercially-significant inventories of accused products in the U.S. is not an appropriate subject for summary determination [under Commission Rule 210.18] and, further, the level of Apple’s domestic inventory is a remedy related matter, for which the Commission Rules require that the [ALJ] issue a Recommended Determination and not an Initial Determination.”
Lastly, according to Order No. 92, ALJ Gildea issued revised and redacted public versions of the above orders to protect Apple’s confidential business information that was inadvertently released in the original public versions of these orders.