By Eric Schweibenz
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May
08
On May 6, 2009, the U.S. International Trade Commission instituted an investigation of Certain Lighting Control Devices Including Dimmer Switches and Parts Thereof (337-TA-676). 

The investigation is based on the April 7, 2009 complaint filed by Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.  As we explained in our April 9 post, the complaint alleges that Universal Smart Electric Corp. (“USE”) of Irvine, California unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain lighting control devices, including dimmer switches and/or switches and parts thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,637,930 and 5,248,919, in addition to U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 3,061,804.


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By Tom Fisher
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May
07
On April 30, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 31 (dated April 2, 2009) in Certain Video Games and Related Three-Dimensional Pointing Devices (337-TA-658).  In the Order, ALJ Luckern granted respondents’ Nintendo Co., Ltd. and Nintendo of America, Inc.’s (collectively “Nintendo”) motion to amend their answer to Complainant Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.’s (“Hillcrest”) Complaint to assert the defenses that the asserted claims of the patents at issue were unenforceable due to inequitable conduct.

According to the Order, Commission Rule 210.14(b)(2) provides that the presiding ALJ may allow amendments to the pleadings under conditions that avoid prejudicing the public interest and the rights of the parties if disposition on the merits will be facilitated, or if other good cause is shown.  ALJ Luckern noted that the ITC typically favors allowing respondents to amend their answer, however, an unjustified delay in presenting an affirmative defense may show that there is no good cause to amend the pleading.


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By Eric Schweibenz
|
May
07
On April 30, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 30 (dated April 2, 2009) in Certain Video Game Machines and Related Three-Dimensional Pointing Devices (337-TA-658).  In the Order, ALJ Luckern denied Nintendo Co. Ltd and Nintendo of America Inc.’s (collectively “Nintendo”) motion to stay the procedural schedule.

According to the Order, Nintendo sought to extend the time in which they would be permitted to obtain discovery from Mr. James D. Richards III (“Mr. Richards”) and Mr. Donald S. Odell (“Mr. Odell”).  Such an extension, Nintendo argued, would provide ample time for Nintendo to supplement its expert reports.  Nintendo additionally sought a temporary stay of the procedural schedule, including the evidentiary hearing, until at least six weeks after Mr. Richards complied with a subpoena directed to him.  In response, complainant Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc. (“Hillcrest”) argued that (1) Mr. Richards had no critical information, (2) Nintendo could have previously obtained the discovery it sought from Mr. Richards, and (3) delaying the procedural schedule would cause severe prejudice to Hillcrest and the integrity of Section 337 proceedings.  The Commission Investigative Staff opposed Nintendo’s motion arguing that (1) Nintendo failed to demonstrate a further need for the documents and prototypes currently in Mr. Richard’s possession, (2) discovery of the information sought by Nintendo would not simplify the issues, (3) Nintendo would not be unduly prejudiced without a stay, and (4) a stay would not facilitate the most efficient use of Commission resources.


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By Barry Herman
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May
07
On April 28 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 25 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same (337-TA-665).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers denied Respondent LSI Corporation’s (“LSI”) motion for summary determination that claims 1-3, 5, and 7-9 of U.S. Patent No. 6,714,055 (the “‘055 patent”) are invalid.

In its motion, LSI argued that U.S. Patent No. 4,779,013 to Tanaka (“Tanaka”) anticipates claims 1-3 and 7-9 of the ‘055 patent and that claim 5 of the ‘055 patent is obvious in light of the combination of U.S. Patent No. 5,854,560 to Chow (“Chow”) and a 1997 journal article entitled “A Low Power-Noise Output Driver with an Adaptive Characteristic Applicable to a Wide Range of Loading Conditions” (“Choy Article”), or the combination of U.S. Patent No. 6,066,958 to Taniguchi (“Taniguchi”) and the Choy Article.


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By Barry Herman
|
May
07
On April 28 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 24 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same (337-TA-665).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers granted-in-part Complainant Qimonda AG’s (“Qimonda”) motion to strike the expert report and preclude testimony of respondents LSI Corporation, Seagate Technology, Seagate Technology (US) Holdings Inc., Seagate Technology LLC, Seagate Memory Products (US) Corporation, Seagate Technologies International (Singapore), and Seagate (US) LLC’s (collectively “Respondents”) legal expert John F. Witherspoon, Esq.

According to the Order, Qimonda asserted that Respondents’ violated Ground Rule section 9.2, which provides that “[l]egal experts may only testify to procedures of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”  Specifically, Qimonda alleged that Mr. Witherspoon improperly opines in his expert report “on case law, legal standards, and ultimate factual issues related to Respondents’ defense of inequitable conduct.”  In response, Respondents argued that Mr. Witherspoon’s report complies with Ground Rule 9.2 as it describes various aspects of PTO procedure, including PTO Rule 56 and its significance in patent prosecution and sets forth his opinions based on his review of the prosecution histories of the asserted patents.  The Commission Investigative Staff supported Qimonda’s motion arguing that Mr. Witherspoon’s expert report is directed to Respondents’ various legal defenses rather than towards PTO procedures.


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