By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jun
02
On May 29, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued public versions of Order No. 35, Order No. 36, Order No. 39, and Order No. 40 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same (337-TA-665).  In the Orders, ALJ Rogers denied Complainant Qimonda AG’s (“Qimonda”) motions to compel respondent LSI Corporation to produce certain documents.

In each order, ALJ Rogers determined that Qimonda violated his ground rules, including Ground Rules 3.2 and 3.5 (requiring parties to make good-faith efforts to resolve discovery disputes without ALJ intervention and to meet and confer to resolve discovery disputes at least two business days prior to filing a motion) in connection with its motions.


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On May 29, 2009, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a Notice determining to terminate Certain Tunable Laser Chips, Assemblies, and Products Containing Same (337-TA-662).

By way of background, the ITC instituted this investigation on December 19, 2008 based on a complaint filed on November 7, 2008 by JDS Uniphase Corporation (“JDSU”).  The complaint alleged violations of section 337 in the importation into the U.S., the sale for importation, and the sale within the U.S. after importation of certain tunable laser chips, assemblies, and products containing same by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,658,035 and 6,687,278.  The complaint named numerous proposed respondents including Bookham, Inc. (“Bookham”).


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On May 28, 2009, Cognex Corp. of Natick, Massachusetts and Cognex Technology & Investment Corp. of Mountain View, California (collectively “Cognex”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, or sell within the U.S. after importation certain machine vision software, machine vision systems, and products containing same that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,016,539 (the “‘539 Patent”); 7,065,262 (the “‘262 Patent”); and 6,959,112 (the “‘112 Patent”):

  • MVTec Software GmbH of Germany;

  • MVTec LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts;

  • E. Zoller GmbH & Co. KG of Germany;

  • Zoller Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan;

  • Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd. of Japan;

  • Fuji America Corp. of Vernon Hills, Illinois;

  • Omron Corp. of Japan;

  • Resolution Technology, Inc. of Dublin, Ohio;

  • Subtechnique, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia; and

  • Visics Corp. of Wellesley, Massachusetts.


According to the complaint, all of the patents-in-suit relate generally to machine vision systems which typically include “sophisticated image analysis software and high-speed, suitable computers or processors (vision processor boards) which, when connected to a camera, interpret the captured images and generate information about them.”  Specifically, “the ‘539 Patent and the ‘262 Patent relate to identifying an object and determining the object’s ‘pose’ in the image using so-called geometric matching.”  Further, the “‘112 Patent relates to a method for determining the presence of an object of interest in an image when a portion of the object falls outside the boundary of the image, as sometimes occurs.”


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On May 26, 2009, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Norgren Inc. v. ITC (2008-1415) which reversed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded the ITC’s final determination of no violation in this case.  Please note that Oblon Spivak represents SMC Corporation and SMC Corporation of America (“SMC”) in this matter.

By way of background, on October 6, 2006, Norgren Inc. (“Norgren”) filed a complaint with the ITC against SMC alleging violation of Section 337 by SMC’s importation and sale of certain connecting devices or clamps that connect together modular filters, regulators, and lubricators (“FRLs”) used for conditioning compressed air in pneumatic systems.  On February 13, 2008, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued an initial determination (“ID”) in which he found no violation of Section 337 because SMC’s accused connectors did not receive generally rectangular ported flanges of the FRLs as required by the patent-in-suit.  Norgren petitioned for review, and the Commission rendered a final decision on April 14, 2008 adopting the ALJ’s ID.


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On May 20, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 80 and Order No. 81 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Using Tungsten Metallization and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-648).  In the Orders, ALJ Charneski denied five motions for summary determination relating to the validity or invalidity of U.S. Patent No. 5,227,335.

Order No. 80 addresses four motions for summary determination concerning alleged anticipation and/or obviousness of certain claims of the ‘335 patent in light of prior work conducted at non-party IBM (“IBM Prior Art”).  According to the Order, Respondents National Semiconductor Corp., Integrated Device Technology, Inc., STMicroelectronics N.V., Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., Spansion Inc., Nanya Technology Corp., Powerchip Semiconductor Corp., Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Elpida Memory, Inc. moved for summary determination of invalidity of claims 1, 3, and 4 of the ‘335 patent for anticipation and obviousness.  Complainants LSI Corp. and Agere Systems, Inc. (“Complainants”) filed a response and cross motion for summary determination of validity of claims 1, 3, and 4.  Complainants also filed a separate motion for summary determination that the IBM Prior Art does not anticipate claims 1, 3, or 4 of the ‘335 patent against respondents Microchip Technology, Inc., ProMOS Technologies, Inc., United Microelectronics Corp., Micronas Holding AG, NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc., Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp., Dongbu HiTek Semiconductor Business, Qimonda AG, Jazz Semiconductor, Tower Semiconductor, Ltd. and ON Semiconductor Corp.  Lastly, Complainants filed an additional motion for summary determination that the IBM Prior Art does not anticipate or render obvious claims 1, 3, or 4 of the ‘335 patent against respondent Magnachip Semiconductor, Ltd.


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