ALJ Orders

ALJ Gildea Grants in Part Respondents’ Joint Motion to Compel in Certain Coaxial Cable Connectors and Components (337-TA-650)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
03
On April 2, 2009, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 17 granting in part Respondents’ joint motion to compel Complainant to fully respond to specific discovery requests in Certain Coaxial Cable Connectors and Components Thereof and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-650).

According to the order, Respondents Fu Ching Technical Industry Co. Ltd.  and Gem Electronics, Inc. (“Respondents”) moved to compel Complainant John Mezzalingua Associates, Inc. d/b/a PPC, Inc. (“PPC”) to fully respond to an interrogatory and a request for admission, and produce documents responsive to a request for production, relating to whether representatives of PPC had separated the locking member of Respondents’ accused products from the connector body and whether the locking member has a radially protruding shoulder circumscribing the member at a first position.  Respondents argued that PPC waived all privilege with respect to separation of the locking member of the accused products from the connector body because PPC disclosed that its counsel had accomplished such a separation in 2004.

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ALJ Essex Rejects Private Parties’ Proposed Redactions To The Initial Determination In Certain Computer Products (337-TA-628)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
03
On April 2, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued a Notice regarding the public version of his initial determination in Certain Computer Products, Computer Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-628).  In the notice, ALJ Essex rejected the private parties’ redactions as being “inappropriate” and inconsistent with the definition of “Confidential Business Information” (“CBI”) as set forth in 19 C.F.R. § 201.6 (a)(1).

By way of example, ALJ Essex focused on two proposed redactions in particular.  First, complainant IBM sought to redact one of its legal arguments relating to claim construction, which the ALJ noted was not redacted in IBM’s public version of its initial post hearing brief.  Second, IBM sought to redact the ALJ’s claim construction ruling in the initial determination.  ALJ Essex determined that both of the redactions requested were inappropriate because neither of the items to be redacted disclosed any CBI.

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ALJ Luckern Upholds Initial Determination in Certain R-134a Coolant (337-TA-623)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
06
On April 1, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued a Remand Determination in the matter of Certain R-134a Coolant (Otherwise Known as 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluorothane) (337-TA-623) affirming that Respondents Sinochem Modern Environmental Protection Chemicals (Xi’an) Co. Ltd. and Sinochem Ningbo Ltd. (“Sinochem”) imported coolant that infringed a process patent held by Complainants INEOS Fluor Holdings Ltd., INEOS Fluor Ltd. and INEOS Fluor Americas LLC (“INEOS”).

The investigation was instituted in December 2007.  On December 1, 2008, ALJ Luckern issued a final initial determination (“ID”) that Sinochem infringed the patent-in-suit and failed to establish that the patent-in-suit was invalid.  Following submissions by the parties, the Commission reviewed the ID with respect to invalidity and issued an order on January 30, 2009 remanding the investigation to the ALJ for further proceedings related to anticipation and obviousness because the disposition of these issues was unclear from the ALJ’s ID.

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ALJ Gildea Denies Motion to Preclude Expert Testing And All Related Documents And Testimony In Certain Laser Imageable Lithographic Printing Plates (337-TA-636)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
08
On April 6, 2009, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the public version of Order No. 25 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 to preclude complainant Presstek, Inc.’s (“Presstek”) 2009 VIM plate testing conducted by Presstek’s expert and all documents, testimony and arguments relating thereto (“Respondents’ Motion”).

According to the Order, in a previous ruling issued by ALJ Essex, Respondents were permitted to substitute Dr. Yoash Carmi (an employee of Respondent Hanita Coatings RCA, Ltd.) for their previously identified expert (Dr. Richard Goodman), with the understanding that Dr. Carmi’s opinions would be limited to those set forth in Dr. Goodman’s previously submitted expert reports.  The same previous ruling by ALJ Essex permitted Presstek to introduce into evidence Dr. Goodman’s deposition testimony and also permitted Presstek to supplement its expert reports to rebut any new theories advanced by Dr. Carmi.

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ALJ Rogers Precludes Complainant From Offering Constructions For Certain Claim Terms In Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits (337-TA-665)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
09
On April 8, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 19 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same (337-TA-665).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers granted-in-part respondents LSI Corporation, Seagate Technology (US) Holdings Inc., Seagate Technology LLC, Seagate Memory Products (US) Corporation, Seagate Technologies International (Singapore), and Seagate (US) LLC’s (collectively “Respondents”) motion to preclude complainant Qimonda AG (“Qimonda”) from offering claim constructions for any claim term for which Qimonda’s proposed construction was “plain and ordinary meaning” or “plain meaning.”

In the Order, ALJ Rogers noted that his procedural schedule required the parties to (i) exchange lists of claim construction terms, and (ii) submit a joint list showing each party’s proposed claim constructions.  ALJ Rogers further noted that “Qimonda’s proposed constructions for many of the disputed claim terms is stated as ‘plain and ordinary meaning’ or ‘plain meaning.’”  Respondents objected to this approach and argued that Qimonda’s constructions were “nothing more than a strategic placeholder” and that Qimonda “was required to offer an actual definition, and not simply state that the term should be accorded its plain and ordinary meaning.”

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination in Certain Refrigerators 337-TA-632

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
10
As indicated in our March 2 post, 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).  On April 6, ALJ Essex issued the public version of his Initial Determination.

In the ID, ALJ Essex determined that Respondents LG Electronics Corp., Inc., LG Electronics, USA, Inc., and LG Electronics Monterrey, Mexico S.A. de C.V. (collectively “LG”) did not violate section 337 through their admitted importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of certain refrigerators because the refrigerators do not infringe Complainants Whirlpool Corp., Whirlpool Manufacturing Corp., Whirlpool Patent Corp., and Maytag Corp.’s (collectively “Whirlpool’s”) U.S. Patent No. 6,082,130.

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ALJ Rogers Sets Procedural Schedule and Target Date In Certain Electronic Devices Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices (337-TA-673)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
13
On April 8, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order Nos. 4 and 5 in Certain Electronic Devices, Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices (337-TA-673).

Order No. 4 sets the procedural schedule for this investigation and includes a provision for the early exchange of claim construction terms and proposed constructions.  The procedural schedule also indicates that the evidentiary hearing in this investigation will commence on October 26, 2009.

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Update Regarding Certain Adjustable Keyboard Support Systems (337-TA-670)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
13
Further to our March 11 post, on April 6, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued Order No. 3 – setting target date in Certain Adjustable Keyboard Support Systems and Components Thereof (337-TA-670).

In the Order, Chief ALJ Luckern set a 15 month target date (i.e., June 14, 2010).  The 15 month target date was set despite an argument from respondents CompX International Inc. and Waterloo Furniture Components Limited d/b/a CompX Waterloo that an 18 month target date is required in view of “the complexity and multiplicity of factual and legal issues involved in the investigation.”  The complainant requested a 14 month target date and the ITC Staff requested a 15 month target date.  According to the Order, any final initial determination will be filed no later than February 15, 2010.  Also, the evidentiary hearing is scheduled to commence on December 1, 2009.

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ALJ Charneski Grants Motion to Compel in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Using Tungsten Metallization (337-TA-648)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
13
On April 6, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 63 granting a motion to compel filed by Complainants Agere Systems Inc. and LSI Corporation (“Agere”) related to the identification of prior art.

Agere moved to compel the respondents to comply with the procedural schedule (Order No. 10) and amend their Joint Notice of Prior Art (“Notice”) to identify “the prior art upon which Respondents realistically intend to rely.”  According to the Order, Respondents had identified 478 prior art references in the Notice.  The Staff supported Agere’s motion to compel.

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ALJ Bullock Issues Initial Determination in Certain Flash Memory Controllers, Drives, Memory Cards, and Media Players (337-TA-619)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
14
On April 10, 2009, ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a Notice regarding his Initial Determination in Certain Flash Memory Controllers, Drives, Memory Cards, and Media Players and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-619). 

According to the notice, ALJ Bullock held that no violation of Section 337 had occurred in the importation into the U.S., the sale for importation, or the sale within the U.S. after importation of certain flash memory controllers, drives, memory cards, and media players and products containing same, in connection with claims 17, 24, and 30 of U.S. Patent No. 6,763,424 (the ‘424 patent) and claim 8 of U.S. Patent No. 7,137,011 (the ‘011 patent).  The notice further indicated that the Complainant satisfied the domestic industry requirement for both the ‘424 and ‘011 patents.

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ALJ Luckern Issues Order Relating to Third Party Discovery In Certain Video Game Machines (337-TA-658)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
15
On April 13, 2009, the public version of Order No. 14 (which was issued by Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern on February 27, 2009) was made available in Certain Video Game Machines and Related Three-Dimensional Pointing Devices (337-TA-658).  In the Order, ALJ Luckern denied third-party James D. Richards III’s motion for sanctions and for a new protective order, and denied his motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum, ordering Richards to comply with the subpoena.

According to the 17-page order, Richards moved for sanctions against respondents Nintendo Co., Ltd. and Nintendo of America Inc. (“Nintendo”) because Nintendo violated the protective order by disclosing Richards’ confidential trade secrets by including information obtained from its expert witness, Donald Odell, and by retaining Odell as an expert.  Odell is the named inventor on a patent that Nintendo asserted as prior art.  Odell was formerly employed at Selectech, Inc. under the supervision of Richards.  Richards also requested removal of two Nintendo attorneys for their disclosure of this supposed confidential business information, which included customer identities.

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ALJ Charneski Permits Invalidity Defense In Enforcement Proceeding In Certain Voltage Regulators (337-TA-564)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
15
On April 10, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 10 in Certain Voltage Regulators, Components Thereof and Products Containing Same (337-TA-564).  In the Order, ALJ Charneski granted, in part, Complainant Linear Technology Corporation’s (“Linear”) motion to strike certain affirmative defenses of respondent Advanced Analogic Technologies, Inc. (“AATI”).  Specifically, ALJ Charneski granted Linear’s motion to strike a number of AATI’s affirmative defenses, but denied Linear’s motion to strike AATI’s patent invalidity defense as premature. 

By way of background, on September 24, 2007, the Commission issued its Final Determination on the question of violation finding that certain AATI products infringed claims 2, 3, and 34 of U.S. Patent No. 6,580,258.  The Commission also issued a limited exclusion order directed toward AATI.  Linear thereafter filed a complaint requesting that the Commission institute a formal enforcement proceeding against AATI for alleged violation of the limited exclusion order.  On October 1, 2008, the Commission issued its Notice of Institution of Formal Enforcement Proceeding against AATI “to determine whether AATI is in violation of the Commission’s limited exclusion order issued in the investigation, and what, if any, enforcement measures are appropriate.”

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ALJ Essex Sets Procedural Schedule In Certain Optoelectronic Devices (337-TA-669)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
16
On April 15, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 4 in Certain Optoelectronic Devices, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same (337-TA-669).

In the Order, ALJ Essex set the procedural schedule for the investigation.  He included a provision for the early exchange of claim construction terms and proposed constructions, and scheduled the evidentiary hearing to begin on October 19, 2009.

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ALJ Essex Issues Order Regarding Witness Statements And Admissibility Of Expert Reports In Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems (337-TA-657)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
16
On April 15, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 16 in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (337-TA-657). 

In the Order, ALJ Essex determined that “the use of witness statements in lieu of live testimony for direct examination by all of the parties would be the most efficient use of the allotted hearing time.”  ALJ Essex thus ordered the parties to “submit witness statements in lieu of live direct testimony, except for those third party witnesses who object to providing written testimony.”  With respect to expert reports, ALJ Essex determined that “expert reports will not be admitted into evidence, but exhibits and attachments to the expert reports may be received into evidence if they are properly introduced at the hearing during the examination of the experts, subject to any objections and rulings.”

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ALJ Rogers Denies Samsung’s Motion to Amend the Notice of Investigation in Certain Electronic Devices Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices (337-TA-673)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
20
On April 16, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 7 denying a motion filed by respondents Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLP (“Samsung”) to amend the Notice of Investigation (“Notice”) and limit the scope of the investigation to Certain Camcorders and Wireless Telephones with Keypads.  Complainant Saxon Innovations, LLC and the Commission Investigative Staff opposed the motion.

According to the order, Samsung argued that the current Notice makes broad infringement claims against an unidentified range of Samsung’s “electronic devices” but that Saxon’s complaint only provided specific infringement allegations for two Samsung products -- a wireless telephone with a keypad and a camcorder.  Samsung argued that Saxon’s complaint only alleged a nexus between the asserted patents and two categories of Samsung products, and thus the scope of the investigation should be limited to those products.  Samsung argued that Saxon’s complaint failed to comply with Commission Rule 210.12.

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ALJ Luckern Determines That Respondents’ License Agreements Relating To Accused Products Are Not Relevant For Calculating The Appropriate Bond In Certain Video Game Machines (337-TA-658)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
20
On April 16, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 17 in Certain Video Game Machines and Related Three-Dimensional Pointing Devices (337-TA-658).  In the order, ALJ Luckern found respondents Nintendo Co., Ltd. and Nintendo of America, Inc.’s (“Nintendo”) license agreements relating to the accused products are not relevant for calculating the appropriate bond.

On March 2, 2009, complainant Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc. (“Hillcrest”) moved for an order compelling Nintendo to produce their license agreements relating to the accused products, and, if necessary, to produce a witness to provide testimony on those agreements.  Nintendo and the Commission Investigative Staff opposed Hillcrest’s motion.

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination Terminating Certain Automotive Parts (337-TA-651) Based On Settlement Agreement

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
20
On April 16, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 30: Initial Determination Terminating Investigation On The Basis Of Settlement Agreement in Certain Automotive Parts (337-TA-651).

According to the Order, on April 3, 2009, complainant Ford Global Technologies, LLC (“Ford”) and respondents LKQ Corporation, Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc., Jui Li Enterprise Co., Y.C.C. Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd., TYC Brother Industrial Co. Ltd., Taiwan Kai Yih Industrial Co., Ltd., and T.Y.G. Products, L.P. (“Respondents”) filed a joint motion to terminate the investigation on the basis of a settlement agreement.  The Commission Investigative Staff filed a response in support of the motion.

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ALJ Charneski Denies Motion To Dismiss Complaint In Certain Cast Steel Railway Wheels (337-TA-655)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
20
On April 16, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued the public version of Order No. 20 in Certain Cast Steel Railway Wheels, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same and Certain Products Containing Same (337-TA-655).  According to the Order, ALJ Charneski denied respondent Standard Car Truck Company’s (“SCT”) motion to dismiss complainant Amsted Industries Incorporated’s (“Amsted”) complaint. 

In the Order, ALJ Charneski first explained that SCT’s motion to dismiss “was filed pursuant to Commission Rule 210.18, i.e., the rule on summary determination (19 C.F.R. § 210.18).”  SCT argued that the complaint should be dismissed for three reasons: (1) there was no trade secrets in existence at the time of the filing of the complaint that could have been misappropriated as alleged by [Amsted]; (2) there was no domestic industry at the time of filing, and therefore (3) the [ITC] lacks subject matter jurisdiction.”  Amsted and the Commission Investigative Staff opposed SCT’s motion.

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ALJ Charneski Orders That Respondent Need Not Provide Deposition Testimony On Unasserted Claim In Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits (337-TA-648)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
20
On April 16, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued the public version of Order No. 48 (dated March 11, 2009) 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 (“LSI”) motion for reconsideration of a ruling he made during a telephonic conference that a deposition witness appearing on behalf of respondent Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (“Cypress”) need not answer questions with respect to claim 4 of U.S. Patent No. 5,227,335 (the ‘335 patent”) since only claim 1 of the ‘335 patent was asserted against Cypress.  ALJ Charneski also denied LSI’s alternative request seeking leave for interlocutory review of the ruling.

By way of background, during a deposition, Cypress’ counsel instructed a Cypress engineer not to answer a question on the basis that the question only related to possible infringement of claim 4 of the ‘335 patent.  While claim 4 was asserted against other respondents, only claim 1 had been asserted against Cypress.  In response to Cypress’ counsel’s instruction, the parties contacted ALJ Charneski for a ruling as to whether Cypress’ counsel’s objection to the question was proper.  In addition to ruling that the objection was proper, ALJ Charneski went on to rule that questions regarding claim 4 were not permissible as to Cypress or to any other respondent that has not been asserted to have infringed claim 4.

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ALJ Gildea Denies Respondents’ Motion For Summary Determination In Certain Coaxial Cable Connectors (337-TA-650)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
21
On April 17, 2009, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the public version of Order No. 19 (dated April 10, 2009) in Certain Coaxial Cable Connectors and Components Thereof and Products Containing Same (337-TA-650).  ALJ Gildea denied Fu Ching Technical Industry Co., Ltd.’s and Gem Electronics, Inc.’s  (“Respondents”) joint motion for summary determination that (i) they do not infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,470, 257 (the “‘257 patent”), (ii) the ‘257 patent is invalid as anticipated, obvious or indefinite, and (iii) Complainant John Mezzalingua Associates, Inc. d/b/a PPC, Inc. (“PPC”) is barred by laches from pursuing the Investigation against Respondents.

In the order, ALJ Gildea determined that a finding of non-infringement was inappropriate because genuine material issues of fact remain relating to at least (i) whether the locking member of Respondents’ accused products is separable from the connector body and (ii) whether a radially protruding circular shoulder is present on Respondents’ accused products at a first position.

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