07
Aug
By Eric Schweibenz
Further to our June 16 post, on August 5, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of his Final Initial and Recommended Determinations (“ID”) in Certain Liquid Crystal Display Modules, Products Containing Same, and Methods For Using The Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-634).  The Complainant in this investigation is Sharp Corporation (“Sharp”) and the Respondents are Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. (collectively, “Samsung”).

In the 209-page ID, ALJ Luckern held that there was a violation of Section 337 by Samsung for importation into the U.S., sale for importation, and sale within the U.S. after importation of infringing liquid crystal display devices and products containing Samsung’s devices, in connection with certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,304,703 (the ‘703 patent); U.S. Patent No. 6,879,364 (the ‘364 patent); U.S. Patent No. 6,952,192 (the ‘192 patent); and U.S. Patent No. 7,304,626 (the ‘626 patent).  Further, ALJ Luckern determined that Sharp met the domestic industry (technical prong) requirement for each of the patents-in-suit because Sharp’s domestic industry articles practiced at least one asserted claim for each patent.

‘703 Patent

Prior to determining infringement of the ‘703 patent, ALJ Luckern construed the disputed claim terms “domain regulating means,” “line portions,” and “neighbored.”  In light of his constructions for these disputed terms, ALJ Luckern determined that Sharp had demonstrated that Samsung’s products infringed all the asserted claims of the ‘703 patent.

With respect to validity, ALJ Luckern determined that Samsung had not shown that any of the asserted claims of the ‘703 patent were invalid as anticipated or obvious.  First, ALJ Luckern rejected Samsung’s assertion that the ‘703 patent was anticipated by the Lien patent, because he found that it “did not disclose the limitation requiring domains with liquid crystal molecules in generally the same direction …[nor] the limitation requiring regulating azimuths of orientation according to respective directions of said line portions.”  Second, ALJ Luckern rejected Samsung’s assertion that certain claims of the ‘703 patent were obvious in view of the combination of the Lien patent with the Hisatake patent because both the Lien and Hisatake patents failed to disclose that “said azimuths of the orientations are regulated according to respective directions or said line portions…[and such limitation] would not be met even if [both patents] were combined.”  Third, ALJ Luckern rejected Samsung’s assertion that the ‘703 patent was anticipated by the Koma patent because he found that the Koma patent did not disclose, among other things, certain elements of claim 1 requiring “domain regulating means” having “line portions.”  Finally, ALJ Luckern rejected Samsung’s assertion that certain claims of the ‘703 patent were obvious due to the combination of the Koma and Hisatake patents, because he found that “the teachings in [the Koma and Hisatake patents] would discourage any combination given the different and non-complimentary structures disclosed in each reference.”

‘364 Patent

Prior to determining infringement of the ‘364 patent, ALJ Luckern construed the disputed claim terms “alignment control structures,” “auxiliary structures,” and “have a shape long in the direction perpendicular to the linearly arranged structures.”  In light of the claim constructions, ALJ Luckern determined that Sharp had shown that Samsung’s products infringed all the asserted claims of the ‘364 patent because Samsung’s products contained the “auxiliary structure” limitation of asserted claims 5-7, in addition to other limitations.

With respect to validity, ALJ Luckern determined that Samsung had not shown that any of the asserted claims of the ‘364 patent were invalid as anticipated, or unenforceable due to inequitable conduct.  In particular, ALJ Luckern determined that the priority date of the ‘364 patent was earlier than any of Samsung’s alleged anticipating references and thus they did not qualify as prior art for anticipation or enforceability purposes.

‘192 Patent

Prior to determining infringement of the ‘192 patent, ALJ Luckern construed the disputed claim terms “domain restriction structure” and “pixel.”  Using these claim constructions, ALJ Luckern determined that Samsung’s products infringed asserted claims 1 and 4 of the ‘192 patent. 

With respect to validity, ALJ Luckern determined that Samsung had not shown that any of the asserted claims were obvious in light of Samsung’s submitted references.  Specifically, ALJ Luckern rejected Samsung’s argument that a certain prior art reference, which lacked a particular limitation, when combined with other references would render the ‘192 patent obvious.

‘626 Patent

Prior to determining infringement of the ‘626 patent, ALJ Luckern construed the disputed claim term “circuit.”  In light of this construction, he determined that Samsung’s products infringed all the asserted claims of the ‘626 patent.

With respect to validity, ALJ Luckern determined that Samsung had not shown that asserted claim 10 was invalid as anticipated, nor that asserted claims 17 and 20 were invalid as obvious.

* * * * * *

Regarding remedy, ALJ Luckern recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order that extends to Samsung’s downstream LCD televisions, LCD computer monitors, and LCD professional displays, and a cease and desist order.  In reaching this determination, ALJ Luckern held that “the evidence shows a balance of the EPROMs factors weighs in favor of excluding accused LCD modules that are incorporated into downstream LCD televisions, LCD computer monitors and LCD professional displays.”  Additionally, ALJ Luckern recommended “the entry of a bond in the Presidential Review period at 100 percent of the entered value of Samsung’s infringing LCD products which include downstream LCD TVs, LCD professional displays and LCD computer monitors.”
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