19
Feb
By Barry Herman
On February 17, 2009, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea and Samsung Electronics America, Inc. filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337.

The complaint alleges that Eastman Kodak Company imports into the U.S. (in addition to sale for importation into the U.S. and/or sale within the U.S. after importation) digital cameras that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,731,852 and U.S. Patent No. 6,229,695.  According to the complaint, the ‘852 patent “improves on the prior art recording devices by allowing a variable-length audio file, enabling the user to create ‘sound tags’ or ‘voice memos’ that exceeded the fixed file size known in the prior art.”  Further, the complaint alleges that the ‘695 patent relates to a palm-sized camera, and more particularly to the housing encasing the device’s structure that provides “increased impact-resistance.”

Thirteen different Kodak models are accused of infringement and Samsung alleges that all of these models are made outside the U.S.  Samsung based, in part, its importation allegations on a November 17, 2008 ITC Complaint filed by Kodak that stated that it does not presently manufacture its digital cameras in the U.S.  As a result of the Kodak complaint, which named Samsung as a proposed respondent, in addition to LG, the ITC instituted an investigation (337-TA-663 – Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, Components Thereof ), which is currently pending at the ITC.

Samsung alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents are practiced by Samsung-branded digital camera products that are repaired, refurbished, and/or tested by Samsung in the U.S.  Samsung also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based primarily on providing customer support for such products and its “extensive licensing activities” in the U.S. relating to the asserted patents.
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