01
Dec
By Eric Schweibenz
On November 29, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining that there has been no violation of Section 337 in Certain Electronic Imaging Devices (Inv. No. 337-TA-726). 

By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Flashpoint Technology, Inc. (“Flashpoint”) and the remaining Respondents are HTC Corp. and HTC America, Inc. (collectively, “HTC”).  The asserted patents are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,262,769 (the ‘769 patent) and 6,163,816 (the ‘816 patent).  On July 28, 2011, former Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued an Initial Determination (“ID”) finding no violation of Section 337 by HTC.  Specifically, ALJ Luckern determined, inter alia, that (i) Flashpoint failed to show that the asserted claims of the ‘769 and ‘816 patents are infringed, (ii) it has been established that the asserted claims of the ‘816 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) (on sale bar), (iii) it was not established that the asserted claims of the ‘769 and ‘816 patents are invalid in view of prior art, (iv) Flashpoint’s rights under the ‘816 and ‘769 patents were not exhausted with respect to HTC’s accused Windows Phone 7 (“WP7”) products, and (v) Flashpoint did not establish a domestic industry with respect to either of the ‘769 or ‘816 patents.  See our September 30, 2011 post for more details.

On September 26, 2011, the Commission issued a notice determining to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review (1) infringement of the asserted claims of the ‘769 patent by the accused HTC Android smartphones, (2) infringement of the asserted claims of the ‘769 patent by the accused HTC WP7 smartphones, (3) the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement for the ‘769 patent with respect to the licensed Motorola smartphones, (4) the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement for the ‘769 patent with respect to the licensed Apple smartphones, and (5) the enforceability of the asserted patents under the doctrines of implied license and exhaustion.  The Commission also determined to review and take no position on (a) anticipation of the asserted claims of the ‘816 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 102 in view of the prior art references, and (b) obviousness of the asserted claims of the ‘816 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 103 in view of the prior art references.  The Commission requested that the parties brief their positions on the issues under review with reference to the applicable law and the evidentiary record.  See our September 27, 2011 post for more details.

According to the November 29 notice, after examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and the submissions of the parties, the Commission determined to affirm ALJ Luckern’s determination of no violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘769 patent on the bases that (1) the accused HTC Android smartphones and the accused HTC WP7 smartphones do not infringe the ‘769 patent, and (2) HTC has established that it has an implied license to practice the ‘769 patent with respect to the accused WP7 smartphones.  The Commission further determined to take no position on the ALJ’s finding that HTC has not established the right to practice the ‘769 patent with respect to the accused WP7 smartphones under the defense of patent exhaustion.  The Commission also determined to take no position on the ALJ’s finding that Flashpoint has not met the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement for the ‘769 patent.  Lastly, the Commission determined to terminate the investigation.
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