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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By Eric Schweibenz
|
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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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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