ALJ Orders

ALJ Rogers issues initial determination in certain silicon microphones 337-TA-629

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
19
On February 10, 2009, Administrative Law Judge Roger K. Rogers, Jr. issued the public version of his January 12, 2009 Initial Determination in the matter of Certain Silicon Microphone Packages and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-629).  Please note that Oblon Spivak represents respondent MEMS Technology Berhad (“MemsTech”) in this matter. 

In the ID, ALJ Rogers determined that MemsTech violated section 337 based on the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of certain silicon microphone packages by literal infringement of certain claims of Complainant Knowles Electronics, LLC’s (“Knowles”) U.S. Patent Nos. 6,781,231 and 7,242,089.

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ALJ Rogers denies joint motions to terminate based on settlement agreements in certain base stations and wireless microphones 337-TA-653

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
19
On February 18, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued an order in the matter of Certain Base Stations and Wireless Microphones (Inv. No. 337-TA-653) denying the joint motions of complainant L-3 Communications Mobile-Vision, Inc. and respondents KCi Communications, Inc., Digital Ally, Inc., and Trinus Systems, Inc. to terminate the investigation as to those respondents based on settlement agreements with the complainant. 

The parties sought to withhold the terms of their settlement agreements from the other respondents in the investigation by not submitting the settlement agreements with their joint motions to terminate – they instead sent the settlement agreements directly to ALJ Rogers under separate cover.  ALJ Rogers held that this violated the clear mandate of Commission Rule 210.21(b)(1), which requires that “a motion for termination by settlement shall contain copies of the licensing or other settlement agreement.”  He denied the motions to terminate without prejudice.

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ALJ Rogers denies saxon’s motion to amend its complaint in certain electronic devices 337-TA-667

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
19
On February 18, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued an order denying complainant Saxon Innovations, LLC’s  (“Saxon’s”) motion to amend its complaint to add Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLP (collectively “Samsung”) as respondents in the matter of Certain Electronic Devices, Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices (Inv. No. 337-TA-667).

Saxon has been litigating a separate patent infringement suit against Samsung in the Eastern District of Texas since October 2007, and the parties have been in settlement negotiations since December 2007.  In its motion to amend its complaint in the ITC, Saxon claimed that several months prior to filing the complaint, it notified Samsung of its intent to include Samsung as a respondent.  Saxon stated that it agreed to refrain from adding Samsung as a respondent as long as the parties continued working towards a settlement in the district court case.  However, since Samsung had allegedly expressed concern regarding any delay in commencing the investigation, Saxon now needed to add Samsung as a respondent.

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ALJ Gildea sets technology tutorial and markman argument in certain laser imageable lithographic printing plates 337-TA-636

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
23
On February 20, 2009, ALJ E. James Gildea issued an order setting April 22, 2009 for a technology tutorial and Markman argument in the matter of Certain Laser Imageable Lithographic Printing Plates  (Inv. No. 337-TA-636).

Regarding technology tutorials, ALJ Gildea states in the order that “brief technology tutorials will be useful in setting the stage for the hearing.  Complainant and Respondents will be permitted 30 minutes per side to present the technology at issue in this Investigation.  Legal argument during said presentations will not be permitted.”

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ALJ Essex issues initial determination in certain refrigerators 337-TA-632

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
02
On February 26, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued his initial determination in the matter of Certain Refrigerators and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-632).  The initial determination was issued as a confidential document and a public version is not yet available.

However, according to published reports, LG Electronics announced on Friday that the initial determination (ID) was in its favor and ALJ Essex ruled that LG refrigerators are not covered by Whirlpool’s patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,082,130) for ice storage bins located in refrigerator doors.

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ALJ Luckern denies motion for claim construction hearing in certain 3g mobile handsets and components (337-TA-613)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Mar
03
On February 27, 2009, ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of his February 9, 2009 Order No. 40 in Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components (337-TA-613).  In the Order, ALJ Luckern denied respondents Nokia Corporation and Nokia Inc.’s (Nokia) motion for a one-day claim construction hearing and a speedy claim construction order.

According to the Order, Nokia argued in support of its motion, among other things, that “although [ALJ Luckern] does not normally conduct claim construction hearings prior to an evidentiary hearing, the unique circumstances of this investigation warrant a separate hearing.”  Specifically, Nokia argued that conducting a claim construction hearing prior to the evidentiary hearing would streamline the proceedings.  Further, Nokia pointed to a prior investigation (Certain 3G Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) Handsets and Components Thereof (337-TA-601) (the 601 investigation)) and, according to the Order, argued that the disputed claim terms in the current investigation were identical to those in the 601 investigation.

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ALJ Charneski denies motion to quash non-party subpoena in certain cast steel railway wheels (337-TA-655)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
03
On February 27, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 15in Certain Cast Steel Railway Wheels, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same and Certain Products Containing Same (337-TA-655).  In the Order, ALJ Charneski denied non-party Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation’s (Wabtec) motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum served by complainant Amsted Industries Incorporated (Amsted). 

According to the Order, the subpoena at issue requested that Wabtec produce documents responsive to fourteen categories and that Wabtec present a representative to testify at a deposition on twelve topics. 

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ALJ Essex denies motion to terminate investigation based on arbitration agreement in certain composite wear components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
09
On March 5, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 20 in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex denied respondent AIAE Engineering and Vega Industries Ltd.’s (AIAE) motion to terminate the investigation based on an arbitration agreement.

According to the Order, the arbitration agreement was contained in a Settlement Deed executed by AIAE and complainant Magotteaux International S/A (Magotteaux) that ended their collaboration to develop and manufacture composite wear components in India.

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ALJ Essex grants Magotteaux’s motion to strike AIAE’s identification of its expert witness as untimely in certain composite wear components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
09
On March 5, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 21in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex granted complainants Magotteaux S/A and Magotteaux, Inc.’s (Magotteaux’s) motion to strike respondents AIA Engineering Ltd. and Vega Industries Ltd.’s (AIAE’s) identification of its proposed expert witness as untimely.

The amended procedural schedule in the investigation called for each side to identify its expert witnesses by November 3, 2008.  AIAE first identified its expert witness on December 29, 2008.  On January 9, 2009, Magotteaux filed a motion to strike the identification.  AIAE responded on January 21, 2009.  In its response, AIAE argued that there was no harm stemming from the delay and that striking the identification was a “drastic remedy for a highly technical procedural delay ….” 

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ALJ Gildea denies respondents’ motion for summary determination in certain laser imageable lithographic printing plates 337-TA-636

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
11
On March 9, 2009, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the public version of his February 23, 2009 Order No. 22 in Certain Laser Imageable Lithographic Printing Plates (337-TA-636).  In the Order, ALJ Gildea denied respondents VIM Technologies, Ltd., Hanita Coatings RCA, Ltd., AteCe Canada, Guaranteed Service & Supplies, Inc., Recognition Systems, Inc., and Spicers Paper, Inc.’s (Respondents’) motion for summary determination that (i) claims 1 and 27 of U.S. Patent No. 5,339,737 are invalid as anticipated over a prior art reference by Nechiporenko et al.; (ii) claim 10 of the ‘737 patent is invalid as obvious over the Nechiporenko reference in combination with U.S. Patent No. 4,132,168; (iii) the accused lithographic printing plates do not infringe claims 1, 10, and 27 of the ‘737 patent; and (iv) the accused plates do not infringe claims 20, 21, and 23 of U.S. Patent No. 5,487,338.

Complainant Presstek, Inc. and the Staff opposed Respondents’ motion.  They argued that there are disputed issues of fact relating to what is actually disclosed and enabled by the Nechiporenko reference, and that therefore summary determination of invalidity of any claims as anticipated by Nechiporenko or obvious over Nechiporenko (in combination with the ‘168 patent) would be inappropriate.  Further, they argued that since Respondents’ noninfringement position relied on disputed claim terms that still required construction, summary determination on that issue was premature.  The Staff also argued that there was a disputed issue of fact relating to the operation of the accused lithographic printing plates, which also made summary determination of noninfringement inappropriate.

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ALJ Charneski Grants Motion For Summary Determination In Certain Hair Irons 337-TA-637

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
12
On March 10, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued a notice indicating that he granted Complainant Farouk System, Inc.’s motion for summary determination of violation of section 337 in the matter of Certain Hair Irons and Packaging Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-637).  The notice further indicates that ALJ Charneski also issued a Recommended Determination (in the same order) recommending the issuance of a general exclusion order.  ALJ Charneski’s order granting complainant’s motion for summary determination was issued as a confidential document and a public version is not yet available.

We will provide additional information regarding this order once the public version issues.

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ALJ Bullock grants joint motion to stay certain flash memory chips investigation 337-TA-664

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
13
On March 12, 2009, ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued an order granting a joint motion to stay the investigation filed in Certain Flash Memory Chips and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-664).  According to the order, the private parties filed a motion to stay the investigation for ninety days to gain the necessary approvals to effectuate the agreed-upon settlement between the Spansion complainants and the Samsung respondents, which would result in termination of the investigation. 

Further, according to the order, on March 11, 2009 Spansion filed a notice of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings and an automatic stay in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  Although Spansion and Samsung have fully agreed to the settlement agreement, because Spansion filed for bankruptcy, the settlement agreement is subject to the Bankruptcy Court’s approval which may take up to ninety days.

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination in Certain Computer Products 337-TA-628

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
18
On March 16, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued a notice regarding his Initial Determination in the matter of Certain Computer Products, Computer Components and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-628). 

According to the notice, ALJ Essex held that no violation of section 337 has occurred in the importation into the U.S., the sale for importation, or the sale within the U.S. after importation of certain computer products, computer components, or products containing same by reason of infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,008,829, 5,249,741, and 5,371,852.  The notice further indicates that the patents-in-suit are valid and that Complainant International Business Machines (IBM) satisfies the domestic industry requirement of section 337 for each of the patents-in-suit.

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ALJ Rogers Grants-In-Part A Non-Party Motion To Quash Subpoena In Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits (337-TA-665)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
24
On March 18, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued the public version of Order No. 10 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same (337-TA-665).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers granted-in-part and denied-in-part non-party Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc.’s (“Chartered USA”) motion to quash and/or limit a subpoena served by complainant Qimonda.

ALJ Rogers determined that Qimonda’s definition of “Accused Products” “fails to meet the standard required by Commission Rule 210.32(a)(2), because it fails to describe with any precision the ‘Accused Products’ that are the subject of the documents sought in the subpoena.”  Rather than using “generic semiconductor chip terms,” ALJ Rogers suggested that Qimonda define the accused products “by listing specific structural features, circuit designs, and/or fabrication processes found in the accused products that are already defined in the complaint and that Qimonda believes are relevant to the case at hand.”  ALJ Rogers further determined that the subpoena as written subjected non-party Chartered USA to an undue burden since it would not lead to the production of relevant evidence.  Thus, ALJ Rogers quashed a number of document requests, deposition topics, and inspection requests because of Qimonda’s overly broad definition of “Accused Products.”

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ALJ Rogers Grants-In-Part And Denies-In-Part Qimonda’s Motion to Compel In Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits (337-TA-665)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
24
On March 20, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued the public version of his March 12, 2009 Order No. 12 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same (337-TA-665).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers granted-in-part and denied-in-part complainant Qimonda AG’s motion to compel respondent LSI Corporation to (1) identify information regarding its 100 best-selling products and (2) produce “critical processing and technical documents.”

In its motion, Qimonda asked ALJ Rogers to compel LSI to produce a complete list of its 100 best-selling semiconductor integrated circuits, a complete list of all downstream products containing any of these 100 integrated circuits, a complete list of all foundries producing any of these integrated circuits or downstream products, and an identification of which foundries produced which circuits and/or downstream products.

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ALJ Charneski Denies Respondents’ Motion to Compel, But Grants Access To Videotape Subject to Conditions in Certain Cast Steel Railway Wheels (337-TA-655)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
24
On March 20, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 18 in Certain Cast Steel Railway Wheels, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same and Certain Products Containing Same (337-TA-655).  In the Order, ALJ Charneski denied respondents Standard Car Truck Company, Inc., Barber Tianrui Railway Supply, LLC, Tianrui Group Company Limited, and Tianrui Group Foundry Company Limited’s (“Respondents”) motion to compel complainant Amsted Industries Incorporated to release a videotape made during respondents’ inspection of Amsted’s Kansas City Foundry.

According to the Order, the dispute between the parties involved access to a videotape made during Respondents’ inspection of Amsted’s Griffin Wheel Foundry outside of Kansas City, Missouri.  The Respondents sought unlimited access to the videotape and argued that the Protective Order issued during the investigation would provide sufficient protection for Griffin Wheel Foundry’s trade secrets.  Amsted and the Commission Investigative Staff argued for greater protection for the videotape inspection and suggested that an amendment to the Protective Order for special, increased measures of ensuring security and confidentiality is not uncommon. 

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Chief ALJ Luckern Issues Order Regarding Witness Statements And Admissibility Of Expert Reports In Certain Video Game Machines (337-TA-658)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
25
On March 24, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued Order No. 21 in Certain Video Game Machines and Related Three-Dimensional Pointing Devices (337-TA-658).  In the Order, Chief ALJ Luckern determined that “written testimony for direct testimony of witnesses will be limited to non-controversial testimony” and “expert reports are not to be admitted with evidence.”

According to the Order, the parties made submissions on March 20, 2009 regarding the issue of witness statements and expert reports.  With respect to witness statements, all of the parties agreed that the use of witness statements should be permitted in lieu of live direct testimony on certain non-controversial matters, such as, for example, witness qualifications, educational history, work experience, etc. 

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ALJ Charneski Denies Motion to Amend Complaint To Assert Additional Patent Claims In Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Using Tungsten Metallization (337-TA-648)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
31
On March 26, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 60 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Using Tungsten Metallization and Products Containing Same (337-TA-648).  In the Order, ALJ Charneski denied Complainants LSI Corporation’s and Agere Systems Inc.’s (“Complainants”) motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation to assert two additional patent claims against respondent Magnachip Semiconductor, Ltd. (“MagnaChip”).

According to the Order, Complainants’ motion failed to meet the good cause standard set forth in Commission Rule 210.14(b)(1) as it relates to post-institution motions to amend the complaint and notice of investigation.  Specifically, ALJ Charneski noted, among other things, that initial expert reports had already been filed, rebuttal expert reports are due on April 6, 2009, and the deadline for fact and expert discovery is April 17, 2009.

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ALJ Essex Stays Evidentiary Hearing in Certain Composite Wear Components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
01
On March 31, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 24 in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex stayed the evidentiary hearing scheduled to begin on April 13, 2009. 

On March 23, respondents AIA Engineering Ltd. and Vega Industries Ltd. filed a notice that “it will not participate any further in this investigation, except in connection with appeals or other challenges to the denial by the ALJ of [its] Termination Motion . . . .”  The notice stated that AIAE intended to seek redress against complainant Magotteaux S/A and Magotteaux, Inc. (Magotteaux) for incorrect allegations of patent infringement in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

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ALJ Gildea Issues Order Regarding The Admissibility Of Certain Exhibits Without A Sponsoring Witness In Certain Laser Imageable Lithographic Printing Plates (337-TA-636)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
01
On March 30, 2009, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 26 in Certain Laser Imageable Lithographic Printing Plates (337-TA-636).  In the Order, ALJ Gildea granted in part respondents VIM Technologies, Ltd., Hanita Coatings RCA, Ltd., AteCe Canada, Guaranteed Service & Supplies, Inc., Recognition Systems, Inc., and Spicers Paper, Inc.’s (“Respondents”) requests for receipt of certain exhibits without a sponsoring witness, but denied the majority of the requests.

According to the Order, Respondents requested, pursuant to Ground Rule 9.8.12, that the ALJ receive several exhibits into evidence without a sponsoring witness.  Respondents argued that “there is good cause to admit these exhibits into evidence because they are relevant, material, reliable and non-controversial, and their admission would streamline the hearing process without prejudicing any party to this Investigation.”

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