By Eric Schweibenz
On August 1, 2013, Straight Path IP Group, Inc. of Glen Allen, Virginia (“Straight Path”) 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 point-to-point network communications devices and products containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,009,469 (the ‘469 patent), 6,108,704 (the ‘704 patent), and 6,131,121 (the ‘121 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • AmTran Logistics, Inc. of Irvine, California

  • AmTran Technology Co., Ltd. of Taiwan

  • LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea

  • LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

  • LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. of San Diego, California

  • Panasonic Corp. of Japan

  • Panasonic Corp. of North America of Secaucus, New Jersey

  • Sharp Corp. of Japan

  • Sharp Electronics Corp. of Mahwah, New Jersey

  • Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. of Japan

  • Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. of Foster City, California

  • Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC of Foster City, California

  • Sony Corp. of Japan

  • Sony Corp. of America of New York, New York

  • Sony Electronics Inc. of San Diego, California

  • Sony Mobile Communications AB of Sweden

  • Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

  • Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia

  • Toshiba Corp. of Japan

  • Toshiba America Inc. of New York, New York

  • Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. of Irvine, California

  • Vizio, Inc. of Irvine, California

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to point-to-point network communications.  In particular, the ‘704, ‘469, and ‘121 patents all relate to computer programs and methods for establishing point-to-point communication links over a network.  The ‘469 patent additionally relates to user-interfaces to help form point-to-point communication links.  The ‘121 patent additionally relates to the use of dynamically assigned network protocol addresses when forming point-to-point communication links.

In the complaint, Straight Path states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to various smartphone handsets, tablet computers, eReaders, smart TVs, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, and VoIP phone systems as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Straight Path states that there are several domestic licensees of the asserted patents, including IDT Corp. (“IDT”) and Microsoft Corp. (“Microsoft”).  The complaint states that IDT’s VoiceLine SoftPhone point-to-point network communication technology practices at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.  The complaint also states on information and belief that Microsoft’s Xbox One Gaming Console, which will be commercially released later in 2013, will incorporate Skype technology that is protected by at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.  In addition, Straight Path refers to IDT’s and Microsoft’s substantial investments in the U.S. relating to their respective products that practice the asserted patents.

As to related litigation, Straight Path states that, concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it is also asserting the ‘469, ‘704, and ‘121 patents against the Proposed Respondents in U.S. district courts.  Straight Path additionally refers to several previous district court cases that involved the asserted patents but that did not involve any of the Proposed Respondents.  Straight Path also refers to a reexamination of the asserted patents in which the examiner confirmed the validity of numerous claims of the asserted patents, many without any amendments.  Lastly, Straight Path states that Sipnet EU S.R.O. filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) of the ‘704 patent on April 11, 2013.

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