Samsung Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Wireless Communications Equipment

On December 21, 2012, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC of Richardson, Texas (collectively, “Samsung”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Ericsson Inc. of Plano, Texas and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson of Sweden (collectively, “Ericsson”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, sell within the U.S. after importation, service, and/or repair certain wireless communications systems and equipment used in those systems, such as wireless communication base stations, that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,782,749 (the ‘749 patent), 8,165,081 (the ‘081 patent), 8,208,438 (the ‘438 patent), 8,228,827 (the ‘827 patent), 6,617,929 (the ‘929 patent), 6,767,813 (the ‘813 patent), and 6,865,682 (the ‘682 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to wireless communications base stations for use with LTE applications, including certain Doherty amplifiers, semiconductors, and/or microprocessor modules as components.  In particular, the ‘749 patent relates to a method and apparatus for mapping the physical downlink control channels to resources in a wireless communications system to achieve improved interference diversity.  The ‘081 patent relates to a method and apparatus for control and data multiplexing in communication systems.  The ‘438 patent relates to a method and apparatus for mapping the physical downlink control channels to resources in a wireless communications system to achieve improved transmission and reception properties.  The ‘827 patent relates to a method and apparatus for performing a random access procedure in a mobile communication system.  The ‘929 patent relates to a Doherty amplifier, which is a well-known type of radio frequency amplifier that uses a combination of carrier and peaking amplifiers.  The ‘813 patent relates to an integrated circuit device having active regions with expanded effective widths.  Lastly, the ‘682 patent relates to a microprocessor module with integrated voltage regulators.

In the complaint, Samsung states that Ericsson imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to Ericsson’s RBS 6000 series base stations as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Samsung states that it makes extensive use of the inventions claimed in the asserted patents in numerous products, including base stations and mobile stations.  Samsung further states that it has made a significant investment in plant and equipment in the U.S. with respect to Samsung products that practice the asserted patents.  Samsung states that Samsung employees in the U.S. have engaged in substantial research, development, design, engineering, and testing of Samsung products that practice the asserted patents.  Samsung also states that it invests in U.S.-based personnel who provide technical support, warranty service, and repair to customers in the U.S. who have purchased Samsung products that practice the asserted patents.  Samsung specifically refers to various facilities in Texas and California where activities related to the asserted patents take place.

As to related litigation, Samsung refers to two previous Section 337 investigations (Inv. Nos. 337-TA-577 and 337-TA-583) involving Samsung and Ericsson.  Samsung was the Complainant and Ericsson was a Respondent in the 577 investigation.  Ericsson was a Complainant and Samsung was a Respondent in the 583 investigation.  According to the complaint, both of these prior investigations were terminated in August 2007 based on a confidential settlement agreement between Samsung and Ericsson.  In addition, Samsung refers to Ericsson’s November 30, 2012 Section 337 complaint against Samsung (see our December 4, 2012 post for more details) and related litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

With respect to potential remedy, Samsung requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Ericsson and others acting on Ericsson’s behalf.

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