ALJ Bullock Issues Public Version Of Initial Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337 In Certain Static Random Access Memories (337-TA-792)
On December 18, 2012, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued the public version of the Initial Determination (“ID”) (dated October 25, 2012) finding no violation of Section 337 in Certain Static Random Access Memories and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-792).
By way of background, the Complainant in this matter is Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (“Cypress”) and the remaining Respondents are GSI Technology, Inc. (“GSI”), Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”); and Avnet, Inc. (“Avnet”) (collectively, the “Respondents”). See our July 26, 2011 post for more information about this investigation.
The patents at issue in the investigation are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,651,134 (the ‘134 patent); 6,262,937 (the ‘937 patent); 7,142,477 (the ‘477 patent); and 6,534,805 (the 805 patent). The ID addresses each patent separately, and thus, the ALJ’s determinations are summarized in the same manner below.
The ‘805 Patent
According to the ID, ALJ Bullock found that Cypress failed to prove infringement of the ‘805 patent by a preponderance of the evidence. Specifically, Cypress’s expert witness was found to deliver only conclusory testimony and refer to demonstrative exhibits as support. However, the ALJ noted that demonstratives “have no intrinsic evidentiary value and are only as reliable as that evidence upon which they rely.” ALJ Bullock also found that Cypress failed to meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement. Therefore, there was no violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘805 patent.
The ‘134 Patent
The ALJ also determined that Cypress failed to prove infringement of the ‘134 patent by a preponderance of the evidence because the analysis “consists mostly of attorney argument.” Furthermore, ALJ Bullock agreed with Respondents that Cypress relied on GSI datasheets instead of the product schematics, and Cypress failed to prove that the datasheets were an accurate reflection of the actual design and operation of the accused products. ALJ Bullock also found that Cypress failed to meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement. Therefore, there was no violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘134 patent.
The ‘937 Patent
Infringement of the ‘937 patent was also determined not to be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. Based on the previously determined construction of claim 1, ALJ Bullock found that the limitation “wherein said periodic signal is configured to control data transfer operations…” was not met by the accused devices. As such, the ALJ did not address whether the accused products satisfied the other limitations of claim 1. As with the ‘805 and ’134 patents, ALJ Bullock also found that Cypress failed to meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement. Therefore, there was no violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘937 patent.
The ‘477 Patent
The infringement analysis of the ‘477 patent turned on whether the accused products encompass the “while sensing read data, sending write data across a write data path…” element of the claims. Based on the earlier claim construction, this element requires that the detecting of read data occur at least partially concurrent with the moving of write data. As such, the accused products were not found to infringe the ‘477 patent either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. In addition, ALJ Bullock found that Cypress failed to meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement. Therefore, there was no violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘477 patent.
For each of the asserted patents, ALJ Bullock stated “in light of the foregoing findings and in the interests of judicial economy and efficiency – particularly in light of the Commission’s heavy Section 337 caseload – there is no need for the undersigned to conduct a validity analysis.”
Remedy and Bond
In the event that the ITC finds a violation of Section 337, ALJ Bullock recommended that the ITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order. Additionally, ALJ Bullock recommended that a de minimis bond rate be set.