24
May
By Eric Schweibenz
On May 17, 2017, the International Trade Commission (“Commission”) issued a notice of its decision to issue a final determination of violation of Section 337 in Certain Air Mattress Systems, Components Thereof, and Methods of Using The Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-971).

By way of background, this investigation is based on an October 16, 2015 complaint filed by Select Comfort Corp. and Select Comfort SC Corp. (collectively, “Select Comfort”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain air mattress systems and components thereof by Respondents Sizewise Rentals LLC, American National Manufacturing Inc., and Dires LLC (d/b/a Personal Comfort Bed) (collectively, “Respondents”) that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,904,172 (“the ’172 patent”) and 7,389,554 (“the ’554 patent”). See our October 19, 2015 and November 17, 2015 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively. On November 18, 2016, ALJ Bullock issued the ID finding no violation of Section 337. See our December 13, 2016 post for more details on the public version of the ID.

According to the May 17 notice, the Commission determined as follows:
(1) To reverse (a) the ID’s finding that Respondents' P5000, P6000, and Arco products do not meet the “guides” and “stops” limitation of claim 2 of the ‘172 patent; (b) the ID’s finding that the Gen 3 Arco and Platinum 500016000 controllers do not meet the “guides” and “stops” limitation of claim 12 of the ‘172 patent; and (c) the ID’s finding that the Gen 3 Arco and Platinum 500016000 controllers do not infringe claim 12 of the ‘172 patent;
(2) To affirm the ID’s finding that the ‘172 Accused Products do not meet the claim limitation “pressure monitor means being operably coupled to the processor and being in fluid communication with the at least one bladder for continuously monitoring the pressure in the at least one bladder” in claims 2, 6, 20, 22, and 24 of the ‘172 patent;
(3) To (a) modify the ID’s finding that the ‘172 Accused Products do not infringe claim 9 of the ‘172 patent by striking the words “For the reasons stated above in the discussion of claim 2” in the first full paragraph on page 23 of the ID and, instead, find that the Accused Products do not meet the “continuously monitoring” limitation of claim 9 and therefore do not infringe claim 9 for the reasons detailed in the accompanying Commission Opinion; and (b) affirm the ID’s finding of no induced infringement of claim 9 of the ‘172 patent;
(4) To take no position on the ID’s discussion in the last paragraph on page 20 and the first paragraph on page 21 of the ID. See Beloit Corporation v. Valmet Oy, 742 F.2d 1421, 1423 (Fed. Cir.1984) ("Beloit");
(5) To modify the ID’s finding regarding non-infringement of claim 16 of the ‘554 patent by striking the words “For the reasons stated above in the discussion of claim 1,” in the fourth paragraph on page 70 of the ID and instead find that the ‘554 Accused Products do not meet the “air posturizing sleep surface” limitation of claim 16 and therefore do not infringe claim 16 for the reasons detailed in the accompanying Commission Opinion;
(6) To reverse the ID’s determination that the ‘554 Domestic Industry Products do not practice the ‘554 patent and thus do not satisfy the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement with respect to the ‘554 patent and, instead, determine that for the reasons detailed in the accompanying Commission Opinion, Complainants have satisfied the technical prong with respect to the ‘554 patent based only on the U15 and U11 products practicing claim 16 of the ‘554 patent;
(7) To take no position on the ID’s determination on whether Complainants satisfied the economic prong with regard to the ‘554 patent. See Beloit, 742 F.2d at 1423.
(8) To reverse the ID’s determination regarding the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement with respect to the ‘172 patent, and find that the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement is satisfied for the ‘172 patent.
Accordingly, the Commission finds that there is a violation of section 337 with respect to the ‘172 patent in this investigation. The Commission has determined that the appropriate relief in this investigation includes an LEO prohibiting the unlicensed entry of infringing air mattress systems, components thereof, and methods of using the same that are covered by claims 12 or 16 of the '172 patent and that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of Respondents, or their affiliated companies, parents, subsidiaries, or other related business entities, or their successors or assigns.
The Commission has further determined that the public interest factors enumerated in section 337(d)(l) (19 U.S.C. § 1337(d)(l)) do not preclude issuance of the LEO. Finally, the Commission has determined that the amount of a bond should be set to zero (0) percent of entered value during the period of Presidential review (19 U.S.C. § 1337(j)). The Commission’s order was delivered to the President and the United States Trade Representative on the day of its Issuance.
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