21
Jun
By Eric Schweibenz
On June 14, 2012, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining that there has been no violation of Section 337 with respect to U.S. Patent Nos. 5,978,063 (the ‘063 patent), 5,648,674 (the ‘674 patent), 5,621,556 (the ‘556 patent), and 5,375,006 (the ‘006 patent) in Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices, Including Monitors, Televisions, Modules, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-741/749).  The Commission also determined to remand the investigation to ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. with respect to U.S. Patent No. 6,121,941 (the ‘941 patent). 

By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Thomson Licensing SAS and Thomson Licensing LLC (collectively, “Thomson”), and the Respondents are Chimei InnoLux Corp. and InnoLux Corp. (collectively, “CMI”); Qisda Corp. and Qisda America Corp. (collectively, “Qisda”); BenQ Corp., BenQ America Corp., and BenQ Latin America Corp. (collectively, “BenQ”); AU Optronics Corp. and AU Optronics Corp. America; Realtek Semiconductor Corp.; and MStar Semiconductor Inc. (all collectively, the “Respondents”).  Thomson accused the Respondents of infringing certain claims of the ‘063, ‘674, ‘556, ‘006, and ‘941 patents.

On January 12, 2012, ALJ Rogers issued an Initial Determination (“ID”) finding a violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘674 patent.  Specifically, the ALJ found that the CMI accused products including the Type 2 Array Circuitry and any Qisda or BenQ accused products incorporating these CMI accused products infringe the asserted claims of the ‘674 patent.  No other accused products were found to infringe the ‘674 patent or the other patents at issue.  ALJ Rogers also determined that the asserted claims of the ‘674, ‘556, and ‘941 patents are not invalid, but that certain claims of the ‘063 and ‘006 patents are invalid for obviousness and anticipation, respectively.  Lastly, the ALJ found that a domestic industry exists with respect to the asserted patents.   See our January 17, 2012 post for more details. 

On March 26, 2012, the Commission issued a notice determining to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review sixteen individual findings in the ID including, inter alia, issues related to anticipation and obviousness of the asserted claims, the status of certain references as prior art, claim construction, infringement, the exclusion of certain evidence, and the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.  The Commission requested briefing from the parties on the issues under review, as well as on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  See our April 3, 2012 post for more details.

According to the June 14 notice, after examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and the submissions of the parties, the Commission determined to reverse ALJ Rogers’s finding of a violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘674 patent and affirm, with modifications, the findings of no violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘006, ‘063, and ‘566 patents.  Accordingly, the Commission terminated the investigation as to the ‘006, ‘063, ‘556, and ‘674 patents with a finding of no violation.  With respect to the ‘941 patent, the Commission affirmed that the Respondents do not infringe the asserted claims of the ‘941 patent and that the Respondents had not shown that the asserted claims of the ‘941 patent are obvious in view of a prior art patent to Baba.  However, the Commission reversed the ALJ’s ruling to exclude from the record evidence of so-called ViewFrame II+2 prior art, and remanded to the ALJ to decide whether the ViewFrame II+2 prior art anticipates the asserted claims of the ‘941 patent.
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