By Eric Schweibenz and Alex Englehart
On October 3, 2017, Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam of Menlo Park, California filed a complaint (see parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain Internet of Things (IoT) devices and components thereof (web application displayed on a web browser) that infringe U.S. Patent No. 7,930,340 (the ’340 patent):

  • International Business Machines Corp. of Armonk, New York
  • IBM India Pvt. Ltd of India
  • SAP America, Inc. of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
  • SAP SE – Walldorf of Germany
  • Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California
  • JPMorgan Chase and Co. of New York, New York
  • The United States of Washington, DC
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office of Alexandria, Virginia
  • Patent Trial and Appeal Board of Alexandria, Virginia
  • Facebook, Inc. of Menlo Park, California
  • Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Washington
  • Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea
  • Eclipse Foundation, Inc. (and its Members) of Canada
  • Fiserv Inc. of Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Fiserv India Pvt. Ltd. of India
  • Wells Fargo Bank of San Francisco, California
  • Citigroup, Citibank of New York, New York
  • Citizen’s Financial Group, Inc. of Providence, Rhode Island
  • Fulton Financial Corp. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • J.C. Penney Corp., Inc. and J.C. Penney Co., Inc. of Plano, Texas
  • U-Haul International, Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona
  • Avis Rent A Car System, LLC of Parsippany, New Jersey
  • Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. of Estero, Florida
  • Ace Rent A Car of Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Enterprise Holdings, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car of Clayton/St. Louis, Missouri
  • Presidio Bank of San Francisco, California
  • Fremont Bancorporation and Fremont Bank of Fremont, California
  • Heritage Bank of Commerce and Focus Bank of San Jose, California
  • Bridge Bank of San Jose, California

According to the complaint, the ’340 patent relates to an IoT device and a method for performing real-time web transactions from web applications displayed on a web browser.

The complaint states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the ’340 patent. The complaint further alleges that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) are engaged in a criminal RICO enterprise in connection with the reexamination of Dr. Arunachalam’s patents. The complaint also alleges that the USPTO and PTAB are in breach of contract with Dr. Arunachalam. The complaint additionally alleges that the IBM Eclipse Foundation has stolen Dr. Arunachalam’s intellectual property and that various Proposed Respondents have misappropriated Dr. Arunachalam’s trade secrets and engaged in copyright infringement.

Regarding domestic industry, Dr. Arunachalam states that she has made substantial investments of cash, human capital, brain power, man-years, and time in inventing and filing patent applications and asserting her patents. Dr. Arunachalam further states that she has paid patent lawyers and patent litigators millions of dollars for patent prosecution and patent assertion. Dr. Arunachalam also alleges that she is “a thought leader and visionary, an icon of America Invents.” Dr. Arunachalam additionally states that she has engaged in research and development, engineering, and quality management in connection with products that practice the ’340 patent in the U.S., and that her R&D expenditures each year have “far exceeded tens of millions of dollars.” Dr. Arunachalam also states that she currently operates facilities in California, Nevada, and New Jersey where she conduct activities related to relevant products, and to the ’340 patent. Dr. Arunachalam further states that her domestic industry has been injured by the Proposed Respondents’ unfair acts.

As to related litigation, Dr. Arunachalam refers to various district court cases involving patents related to the ’340 patent and/or cases wherein she or her company WebXchange, Inc. have made allegations similar to those set forth in the instant ITC complaint.

With respect to potential remedy, Dr. Arunachalam requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents. Dr. Arunachalam also requests that the Commission set an expedited target date “of no more than a few months.”