ITC Affirms ALJ Bullock’s Finding Of No Violation Of Section 337 In Certain Static Random Access Memories (337-TA-792)

On June 7, 2013, the International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) issued a notice in Certain Static Random Access Memories and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-792).  In the notice, the Commission determined to affirm Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock’s initial determination finding no violation of Section 337 and to terminate the investigation. 

By way of background, the Complainant in this matter is Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (“Cypress”) and the remaining Respondents are GSI Technology, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., and Avnet, Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”).  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).  See our July 26, 2011 post for more information about this investigation.

In his October 25, 2012 Initial Determination (“ID”), ALJ Bullock determined that the Respondents’ accused products do not infringe any of the four patents.  The ALJ also determined that Cypress failed to meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement for any of the four patents.  In light of these findings, the ALJ declined to make any findings regarding invalidity or unenforceability of the patents in the interests of judicial economy.  See our December 21, 2012 post for additional details.

However, the case was remanded to the ALJ to make specific findings on these grounds as they were litigated by the parties.  On February 25, 2013, ALJ Bullock issued a Remand Initial Determination (“RID”) finding that the asserted patents are enforceable and not invalid.  See our December 28, 2012 post discussing the remand and our March 20, 2013 post for details on the RID opinion.

On April 26, 2013, the Commission determined to review the RID with respect to invalidity, but did not request additional briefing from the parties.  The Commission also declined Respondents’ request to take judicial notice of an on-going reexamination proceeding regarding the ‘805 patent and to admit filings from the reexamination into evidence in this investigation. 

Having considered the evidence of record, including ALJ Bullock’s final ID and RID, the Commission determined to affirm the ALJ’s finding of no violation of Section 337, subject to the following modifications.  First, with respect to the ‘805 patent, the Commission affirmed ALJ Bullock’s findings that (a) Cypress failed to prove that the accused products infringe the asserted claims; (b) Cypress failed to establish the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement; and (c) Respondents failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the asserted claims are invalid as anticipated.  However, the Commission reversed the ALJ’s finding that a publication by Ishida did not anticipate the asserted claims of the ‘805 patent. 

As to the ‘134, ‘937, and ‘477 patents, the Commission affirmed ALJ Bullock’s findings that (a) Cypress failed to prove infringement; (b) Cypress failed to establish the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement; and (c) Respondents failed to prove anticipation by clear and convincing evidence.

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