By Eric Schweibenz
On February 9, 2011, Sony Corporation of Japan (“Sony”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea and LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of New Jersey (collectively, “LG”) unlawfully and without authorization import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain display devices, including digital televisions and monitors that infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,731,847 (the ‘847 patent), 5,583,577 (the ‘577 patent), RE 40,468 (the ‘468 patent), and 6,661,472 (the ‘472 patent) (collectively, “the Asserted Patents”).

According to the complaint (1) the ‘847 patent “is generally directed to the synchronization and display of closed caption information, such as subtitles, on video pictures,” (2) the ‘577 patent “is generally directed to methods and systems for coding and decoding data to be superimposed on a displayed video image,” (3) the ‘468 patent “is generally directed to the secure transmission of video data from one device to another over a data bus,” and (4) the ‘472 patent “is generally directed to a fast and intuitive technique for selecting channels in a digital television.”

In the complaint, Sony alleges that LG imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the LG 32LD350 LCD TV and LG E2360V LCD Monitor as infringing products.

With respect to related litigation, Sony identifies in the complaint various proceedings regarding the Asserted patents, including another ITC complaint and three district court actions in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Regarding domestic industry, Sony asserts that it “has made significant investments in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital, and substantial investments in its exploitation of the Asserted Patents, including research and development, repair and refurbishment, warranty support, licensing, and litigation.”  In particular, Sony alleges that its digital televisions that are sold and supported in the United States, including the Sony KDL-26L5000 LDC TV, practice at least one or more claims of the Asserted Patents.  Sony also asserts that although its digital television are manufactured abroad, “two of its principal U.S.-based subsidiaries . . . conduct significant domestic industry activities in the United States relating to the Sony digital televisions that practice the Asserted Patents.”  Further, Sony asserts that it “has been and is currently engaged in, extensive licensing activities relating to the Asserted Patents.”  In this regard, Sony indicates that the related litigations mentioned above resulted in licenses.

With respect to potential remedy, Sony requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at LG.