By Eric Schweibenz
On January 17, 2018, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release announcing their vote to institute an investigation of Certain IoT Devices, Components Thereof (IOT, the Internet of Things) – Web Applications Displayed on a Web Browser (Inv. No. 337-TA-1094).  
By way of background, this investigation is based on an October 3, 2017 complaint filed by Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam of Menlo Park, California alleging violation of Section 337 by way of unlawful importation into the U.S., selling for importation, and/or selling 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.  See our October 13, 2017 post for more details on the complaint.  The amended complaint further alleges unfair methods of competition and unfair acts (criminal and civil RICO violations, breach of contract, theft of intellectual property, antitrust violations, and trade secret misappropriation), the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in the United States.
According to the Notice of Investigation, the Commission has identified Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California; Facebook, Inc. of Menlo Park, California; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea. The Notice of Investigation further orders an early decision on domestic industry (economic prong) within 100 days of institution.
Lastly, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice indicating that he will be the presiding Administrative Law Judge in this matter.