On May 31, 2012, Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan and ITRI International of San Jose, California (collectively, “ITRI”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea and LG Electronics, U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (collectively, “LG”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain integrated circuit packages provided with multiple heat-conducting paths and products containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,710,459 (the ‘459 patent).

According to the complaint, the ‘459 patent generally relates to an apparatus for providing multiple heat-conducting paths for enhancing heat dissipation and wrapping around caps in order to improve integrity and reliability.  In particular, the ‘459 patent is directed toward packaging that includes an array of metal balls, also known as a “ball grid array” or “BGA.”  Some of these metal balls serve as electrical connections between the integrated circuit chip and surrounding electrical circuitry.  Other metal balls are connected to conduits or “vias” filled with thermally conductive material but electrically insulated from the metal balls.  Thus, the packaging according to the ‘459 patent’s ball grid array serves both goals of increasing the number of electrical connections and improving heat dissipation.  The complaint states that apparatuses like those of the ‘459 patent are used in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) televisions.

In the complaint, ITRI states that LG imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patent.  The complaint specifically names products that incorporate the LGE35230 chip and similar chips, including various LG televisions, as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, ITRI states that it has licensed the ‘459 patent to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Samsung”), and that Samsung conducts significant activities in the U.S. relating to products that practice at least one claim of the ‘459 patent.  According to the complaint, Samsung exploits the technology protected by the ‘459 patent in several products, including, but not limited to, certain LCD televisions.  Further, Samsung provides domestic support for these televisions in the U.S.  ITRI cites to Samsung’s complaint in Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-782) as further support for its domestic industry allegations.  See our June 2, 2011 post for more details on Samsung’s complaint.

As to related litigation, ITRI states that concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it is also filing an action against LG in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging infringement of the ‘459 patent.  Additionally, ITRI refers to Certain Devices for Improving Uniformity Used in a Backlight Module and Components Thereof and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-805), where it is alleging that LG infringes a different patent.  See our September 12, 2011 post for more details.

With respect to potential remedy, ITRI requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at LG and related companies.