By Eric Schweibenz
On March 13, 2012, Pragmatus AV, LLC of Alexandria, Virginia (“Pragmatus”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain consumer electronics, including mobile phones and tablets, that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,854,893 (the ‘893 patent), 6,237,025 (the ‘025 patent), 7,054,904 (the ‘904 patent), 7,185,054 (the ‘054 patent), and/or 7,206,809 (the ‘809 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. of Taiwan

  • ASUS Computer International, Inc. of Fremont, California

  • HTC Corporation of Taiwan

  • HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington

  • LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea

  • LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

  • LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. of San Diego, California

  • Pantech Co., Ltd. of South Korea

  • Pantech Wireless, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia

  • Research In Motion Ltd. of Canada

  • Research In Motion Corp. of Irving, Texas

  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea

  • Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey

  • Samsung Telecommunications America, L.L.C. of Richardson, Texas

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to consumer electronics technology used in mobile phones and tablets.  In particular, the ‘893 patent relates to a method of conducting a teleconference using a graphical rolodex user interface.  The ‘025 patent relates to a method of conducting a teleconference by maintaining a directory of potential participants and associating the directory with a database.  The ‘904 patent relates to a method of capturing audio and video signals and marking audio and video signals for searching.  The ‘054 patent relates to a method of conducting a video conference where users may make calls from at least one of a graphical rolodex with a scrollable list of video-enabled participants or a quick dial panel with icons representing video-enabled participants.  Lastly, the ‘809 patent relates to a method of conducting a real-time communication (e.g., video chat, audio chat, instant message) between multiple devices.

In the complaint, Pragmatus states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically identifies a number of infringing products associated with the various Proposed Respondents.

Regarding domestic industry, Pragmatus states that it is a privately owned company that focuses on licensing intellectual property, including the asserted patents.  Pragmatus states that it acquired the asserted patents from Intellectual Ventures, who acquired them from their original owner, Avistar Communications/Collaboration Properties.  According to the complaint, a domestic industry exists with respect to the asserted patents because Pragmatus has an extensive domestic licensing program focused on these patents.  Pragmatus states that it invests heavily in the exploitation of its technologies and patents, including the asserted patents, through its extensive licensing activities.  Pragmatus further states that a domestic industry exists by virtue of the activities of Pragmatus’s domestic licensees, including significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in research and development with respect to the asserted patents.  The complaint names Sony Corporation, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA) Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Apple, Inc. as licensees to the asserted patents. 

As to related litigation, Pragmatus states that the asserted patents are currently being litigated—or have recently been litigated—against a variety of entities in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.  The complaint refers to 15 distinct lawsuits in that court in which at least one of the asserted patents has been asserted.  Additionally, the complaint states that patents that share a common specification with the asserted patents are currently being asserted in the Southern District of Florida and the Northern District of California against various entities.  Pragmatus also states that the asserted patents and many related patents have been the subject of extensive ex parte reexamination requests before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  

With respect to potential remedy, Pragmatus requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order directed at the domestic Proposed Respondents and their successors and assigns.