03
Aug
By Barry Herman
On July 31, 2009, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”) of South Korea filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents (collectively, “Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain flash memory and products containing the same, which allegedly infringe Samsung’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,930,050 and 5,740,065:

  • Spansion Inc. of Sunnyvale, California

  • Spansion LLC of Sunnyvale, California

  • Spansion Japan Ltd. of Japan

  • Alpine Electronics, Inc. of Japan

  • Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. of Torrance, California

  • D-Link Corp. of Taiwan

  • D-Link Systems, Inc. of Fountain View, California

  • Slacker, Inc. of San Diego, California

  • Synology Inc. of Taiwan

  • Synology America Corp. of Redmond, Washington

  • Shenzhen Egreat Co., Ltd. of China

  • EGreat USA of Fairfax, California

  • Appro International, Inc. of Milpitas, California


According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate to an improved method for manufacturing semiconductor devices, including flash memory.  In particular, the inventions relate to “an improved arrangement in an etching facility for semiconductor manufacturing.”

In the complaint, Samsung alleges that Spansion Inc., Spansion LLC, and Spansion Japan Ltd. (collectively “Spansion”) import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. certain infringing flash memory chips (the “accused chips”), and that all Respondents import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. products containing the accused chips.

Regarding domestic industry, for the economic prong, Samsung refers to its “FAB2” facility in Austin, Texas, which Samsung claims is “as large as nine football fields” and “the single largest foreign investment in Texas.”  Further, Samsung states that it satisfies the technical prong by practicing the inventions claimed by the asserted patents at the FAB2 facility.

Samsung discloses in the complaint that on November 17, 2008, Spansion filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that Samsung and others import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. products that allegedly infringe four of Spansion’s patents.  Samsung states that the ITC instituted an investigation in response to Spansion’s complaint, which is now pending as Inv. No. 337-TA-664.  Samsung notes that the investigation was stayed on March 12, 2009, but that the ALJ issued a new procedural schedule on June 30, 2009.  See our March 13 and July 1 posts for more information.

Samsung also discloses in the complaint that on November 17, 2008, Spansion filed a patent infringement suit against Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of six Spansion patents.  Samsung states that it filed counterclaims against Spansion in the district court, alleging infringement of the two patents listed in the present section 337 complaint (and three others).  The litigation was stayed on March 31, 2009, but the court recently scheduled a status conference for August 11, 2009.

Regarding potential remedy, Samsung requests that the Commission issue “a permanent exclusion order,” but does not specify whether it is requesting a general or a limited exclusion order.  Additionally, Samsung requests that the Commission issue a cease and desist order directed to all Respondents.
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