By Eric Schweibenz
On September 26, 2012, Speculative Product Design, LLC d/b/a Speck of Mountain View, California (“Speck”) 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 one-piece protective cases for portable handheld electronic devices that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,204,561 (the ‘561 patent):

  • Anbess Electronics Co. Ltd. of China

  • Alibaba.com, Ltd. of China

  • Alibaba.com, Inc. of Santa Clara, California

  • Aliexpress, Ltd. of Santa Clara, California

  • Biying Trading Co., Ltd. of Santa Clara, California

  • BodyGlove International, LLC of Redondo Beach, California

  • Fellowes, Inc. of Itasca, Illinois

  • Jie Sheng Technology of China

  • JWIN Electronics Corp., d/b/a iLuv of Port Washington, New York

  • Project Horizon, Inc. d/b/a InMotion Entertainment of Jacksonville, Florida

  • ROCON Digital Technology Corp. of China

  • Shenzhen Huafeng Technology Co., Ltd. of China

  • Superior Communications, Inc. d/b/a PureGear of Irwindale, California

  • SW-Box.com a/k/a Cellphonezone Limited of Hong Kong

  • Trait Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. d/b/a Trait-Tech of China

  • Wexun Tech (HongKong) Co., Ltd. of China

According to the complaint, the ‘561 patent generally relates to the mobile electronics accessory market and more specifically to protective cases for handheld portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, personal digital assistants, and portable digital media players.  In particular, the ‘561 patent relates to a one-piece case that uniquely combines flexible and hard materials to both overcome the limitations of these materials and realize their attributes.

In the complaint, Speck states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to various cases associated with the Proposed Respondents.

Regarding domestic industry, Speck states that its CandyShell products are covered by the ‘561 patent.  Speck states that it designed and developed these products in the U.S.  Speck further states that it has made and is continuing to make substantial investments in plant, equipment, labor, and capital in the U.S., and that it has made substantial investments in the exploitation of the ‘561 patent and products covered by the ‘561 patent in the U.S.

As to related litigation, Speck states that on September 25, 2012, it filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Superior Communications, Inc. d/b/a PureGear, BodyGlove International, and JWIN Electronics Corp. for infringement of the ‘561 patent.

With respect to potential remedy, Speck requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order—or in the alternative, a limited exclusion order—and a permanent cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents.