By Alex Gasser
On May 17, 2011, MOSAID Technologies Inc. of Ottawa, Canada (“MOSAID”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Cisco Systems, Inc. of San Jose, California, Cisco Consumer Products LLC of Irvine, California, Cisco Systems International B.V. of the Netherlands and Scientific Atlanta LLC of Lawrenceville, Georgia (collectively, “Cisco”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain equipment for communications networks including switches, routers, gateways, bridges, wireless access points, cable modems, IP phones, and products containing same that infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 7,035,280 (the ‘280 patent), 7,292,600, (the ‘600 patent), 7,830,858 (the ‘858 patent), 6,842,459 (the ‘459 patent), 7,633,966 (the ‘966 patent) and 5,841,360 (the ‘360 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the ‘280, ‘600, and ‘858 patents are directed generally to a local area network for data communication, sensing, and/or control based on serially connected modules referred to as “Serial Intelligent Cells” (“SICs”), which in turn can be interconnected so that communications between two adjacent SICs are both point-to-point and bidirectional.  Such communications may occur in different areas of the network independent of one another, and example networks can use dedicated wiring and/or existing wiring, such as in-house telephone or electrical wiring.  SICs also can enable concurrent power and data transmission on the same wiring, and some SICs may also optionally connect to other equipment, such as data terminals, computers, telephones, sensors, or actuators, including to facilitate interconnectivity among devices.  The ‘459 and ‘966 patents are directed generally to data communication networks, including those having both wired and nonwired segments.  The wired segments allow data communication through electrically conducting lines that also carry telephone signals, electrical power, or cable television signals.  The non-wired segments allow data communication without using electrically conducting media, such as by propagating radio, light, or sound waves.  A device is then used to couple wired and non-wired segments together and to adapt their respective communication protocols.  The ‘360 patent is directed generally to a network topology allowing distributed sensing, control, or communications, using a power source and multiple line-Powered, Serially connected Intelligent Cells (“PSICs”).  Such networks could allow data to be passed in either direction from one cell to an adjacent cell and allow communication between one pair of adjacent cells that is independent of and simultaneous to communication between another pair of adjacent cells. These would also provide simultaneous power and data connection between PSICs, where, for example, one PSIC sends the power on the same data wiring to another PSIC.  This purportedly could provide advantages in simultaneous data communications, improved addressing and control, and reduction of cabling.

The complaint asserts that Cisco manufactures, causes to be manufactured, assembles, and/or causes to be assembled outside the United States and imports and/or causes the importation into the United States of Power over Ethernet (“POE”) switches, routers, gateways, and bridges; Digital Subscriber Line (“DSL”) wireless access points (“WAPs”);  POE WAPs; Cable WAPs; POE Internet Protocol (“IP”) phones; cable modems with Voice over IP (“VoIP”); and products containing the same (collectively referred to as the “Accused Products”).  The complaint specifically identifies model numbers of numerous Accused Products provided by Cisco.

Regarding related litigation, on August 13, 2010, Cisco filed a declaratory judgment action against MOSAID in the District of Delaware concerning ten patents, six of which are the Asserted Patents herein.  MOSAID counterclaimed for infringement of the ten patents, including the Asserted Patents.  On April 29, 2009, MOSAID filed a patent infringement action against ShoreTel, Inc. in the District of Delaware alleging that ShoreTel infringed five patents, including the ‘360 and ‘280 patents.  This case has since been voluntarily dismissed, “with results favorable to MOSAID.”  On August 25, 2005, Serconet, Limited (the prior owner of the Asserted Patents) filed a patent infringement action against Asoka USA, Inc. and Asoka’s customers Amazon.com, Inc. and eBay, Inc. in the Eastern District of Texas.  Serconet’s complaint alleged infringement of the ‘459 patent.  The case settled in February 2011 after the reexamination certificate for the ‘459 patent issued.  On June 29, 2006, Serconet filed a patent infringement action against Netgear, Inc. in the Southern District of New York, which included the ‘280 and ‘360 patents.  This case was transferred to the Northern District of California, and it settled and was dismissed in November 2007.  Finally, on November 2, 2005, Merlot Communications, Inc. filed a declaratory judgment action against Serconet in the District of Massachusetts, which, after amendment on January 6, 2006, included the ‘360 patent.  This case was transferred to the Southern District of New York and ultimately consolidated with a patent infringement action filed on January 3, 2006, by Serconet against certain Merlot customers and distributors, in the Southern District of New York asserting the ‘360 patent.  In June 2006, these cases were settled and dismissed with respect to Merlot, its customers, and its distributors.

As to the domestic industry requirement, MOSAID argues that its licensees made significant investments in research and development, labor, capital, plant and equipment in the United States relating to their products that practice the Asserted Patents and are covered by their licenses to the Asserted Patents.  MOSAID also alleges that it and Serconet have made and it will continue to make substantial investments in exploiting the Asserted Patents through licensing, including investment in patent litigation and negotiations in the United States.

With respect to remedy, MOSAID requests a permanent general exclusion order, or, alternatively, a limited exclusion order, as well as permanent cease and desist orders directed at Cisco.