By Eric Schweibenz
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May
26
On May 21, 2009, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Linear Technology Corporation v. ITC, No. 2008-1117.  Judge Schall, sitting on a panel with Judge Mayer and Judge Lourie affirmed-in-part, reversed-in-part, vacated-in-part and remanded the case to the ITC for further proceedings.

By way of background, the ITC instituted the underlying investigation (Certain Voltage Regulators, Components Thereof and Products Containing Same, 337-TA-564) based on Linear Technology Corporation’s (“Linear”) complaint against Advanced Analogic Technologies, Inc. (“AATI”) alleging violation of Section 337 by AATI’s importation and/or sale for importation of certain electronic voltage regulator products that infringed U.S. Patent No. 6,580,258 (the “‘258 patent”).


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By Alex Englehart
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May
26
On May 19, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the public version of Order No. 21 (dated May 11, 2009) in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-657).  In the Order, ALJ Essex granted complainant Honeywell International Inc.’s (“Honeywell”) motion to compel respondents Pioneer Corp. and Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. (collectively, “Pioneer”) to produce source code for their OEM products made for Honda.

According to the order, Honeywell argued that the source code was discoverable because it controls various functions within the accused products and is relevant to whether certain claim elements were met.  Pioneer argued that since the source code was for OEM products made for non-party Honda, and the products of non-parties could not be excluded by an ITC limited exclusion order under Kyocera Wireless Corp. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 545 F.3d 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2008), the source code was irrelevant.


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By Robert Nissen
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May
26
On May 22, 2009, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Epistar Corp. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, No. 2007-1457.  This was an appeal from the Commission’s final determination in Investigation No. 337-TA-556, which held that Epistar’s LED products infringed U.S. Patent No. 5,008,718 (“the ‘718 Patent).  The’718 patent is owned by Philips Lumileds Lighting Co. LLC (“Lumileds”).  At the ITC, Epistar attempted to argue that the ‘718 patent was invalid and the parties disagreed on the claim constructions for two terms.  The Commission found that Epistar had waived its right to argue that the ‘718 patent was invalid due to a settlement agreement signed by its subsidiary.  After the Commission ruled against Epistar’s construction of two claim terms, it found that Epistar’s products infringed and issued a Limited Exclusion Order (“LEO”) prohibiting the importation of Epistar’s LED products, regardless of the manufacturer or importer of those products.  Epistar appealed to the Federal Circuit.

In the opinion, the Federal Circuit reversed the Commission’s decision that Epistar could not raise the defense of patent invalidity, affirmed the Commission’s claim construction, and reversed the grant of the LEO.  The Federal Circuit remanded the case to the ITC so that Epistar could raise its invalidity defense and reconsider the grant of the LEO.


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By Andrew Beverina
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May
22
On May 20, 2009 the International Trade Commission reversed ALJ Theodore R. Essex’s December 1, 2008 Initial Determination (“ID”) finding no violation of the ‘326 and ‘419 patents in Certain Semiconductor Chips with Minimized Chip Package Size and Products Containing Same (337-TA-605) and issued a Notice of Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337.  The Commission issued a limited exclusion order against respondents Spansion, Qualcomm, ATI, Motorola, STMicroelectronics-NV, and Freescale, and cease and desist orders against Motorola, Qualcomm, Freescale, and Spansion.

In the ID, ALJ Essex found that the respondents did not infringe the asserted claims of the ‘326 and ‘419 patents; that the patents were not invalid under §§ 102, 103, or 112; and that a domestic industry existed with respect to the patents.  The ALJ issued an RD in which he recommended a limited exclusion order if the Commission determined a violation existed.


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By Rob Cabral
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May
21
On May 20, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the public version of Order No. 22 (dated May 11, 2009) in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (337-TA-657).  In the Order, ALJ Essex granted complainant Honeywell International, Inc.’s (“Honeywell”) motion to compel respondents Alpine Electronics, Inc. and Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. (collectively “Alpine”) to produce documents relating to “Mercedes-Benz Alpine navigation products” and a witness to testify regarding such documents.

According to the Order, Honeywell asserted that documents related to the “Mercedes-Benz Alpine navigation products” were responsive to its discovery requests.  Specifically, Honeywell requested documents related to products sold for importation as part of certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles and products imported into the U.S. for testing purposes.  In opposition, Alpine argued that the documents Honeywell sought were irrelevant to the investigation because they related to “a product that has not been released commercially” and “products that Alpine never imported for the sale in the United States.”  Alpine further argued that the documents were irrelevant because Honeywell was not seeking a general exclusion order nor a remedy against downstream products or parties other than Alpine.  The Commission Investigative Staff argued that the documents Honeywell sought were subject to discovery because certain products are “imported as part of assembled Mercedes-Benz vehicles and, thus might be considered as sold for importation” and other products are sufficiently close to completion to be relevant to the investigation.


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