By Eric Schweibenz
On May 23, 2012, FlashPoint Technology, Inc. of Peterborough, New Hampshire (“FlashPoint”) 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 electronic imaging devices that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,400,471 (the ‘471 patent), 6,222,538 (the ‘538 patent), 6,504,575 (the ‘575 patent), and 6,223,190 (the ‘190 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • HTC Corporation of Taiwan

  • HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington

  • Pantech Co., Ltd. of South Korea

  • Pantech Wireless, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia

  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. of China

  • FutureWei Technologies, Inc. d/b/a Huawei Technologies (USA) of Plano, Texas

  • ZTE Corporation of China

  • ZTE (USA) Inc. of Richardson, Texas

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to technology used in connection with electronic imaging devices.  In particular, the ‘471 patent relates to a flexible architecture for image processing.  The ‘538 patent relates to directing image capture sequences in a digital imaging device using scripts.  The ‘575 patent relates to a method and system for displaying overlay bars in a digital imaging device.  Lastly, the ‘190 patent relates to a method and system for producing an internet page description file on a digital imaging device.

In the complaint, FlashPoint states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to the HTC Radar 4G, the HTC Vivid, the Pantech Burst, the Huawei Impulse, and the ZTE Fury as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, FlashPoint states that a domestic industry exists by virtue of FlashPoint’s licensees’ significant investment in plant equipment, significant employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents, including engineering and research and development with respect to articles protected by the asserted patents.  According to the complaint, FlashPoint’s licensees under the asserted patents include Apple Inc. (“Apple”), Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (“Motorola”), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and related entities (collectively, “Samsung”), and Sony Corporation and its subsidiary Sony Mobile Communications (collectively, “Sony”).  The complaint states that Apple’s iPhone products, Motorola’s smartphone products, Samsung’s smartphone products, and Sony’s smartphone products incorporate technology protected by at least one of the asserted patents.

As to related litigation, FlashPoint states that it is currently involved in litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against HTC Corporation and HTC America, Inc. involving the ‘471, ‘538, ‘575, and ‘190 patents.  FlashPoint also states that it has asserted the ‘575 and ‘190 patents against Pantech Co., Ltd. and Pantech Wireless, Inc. (collectively, “Pantech”) in that litigation.  FlashPoint further states that it has asserted infringement claims against multiple other defendants in that litigation.  According to the complaint, the litigation was stayed on December 17, 2009 pending reexamination activity, and the last of the reexaminations concluded on November 22, 2011.  FlashPoint also states that the ‘538 and ‘190 patents have been asserted in other litigations against multiple third parties in the District of Delaware, and that these other litigations terminated in 2002.  FlashPoint further states that the ‘190 patent has been asserted against additional third parties in the District of Delaware.  FlashPoint additionally states that contemporaneously with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it also intends to file complaints in the District of Delaware alleging infringement of the ‘471, ‘575, and ‘190 patent against Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., FutureWei Technologies, Inc., ZTE Corporation, and ZTE (USA) Inc.  Moreover, FlashPoint intends to file a complaint in the District of Delaware alleging that Pantech infringes the ‘538 and ‘471 patents. 

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