By Eric Schweibenz and Alex Englehart
On October 31, 2017, Netlist, Inc. of Irvine, California (“Netlist”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea, SK Hynix America Inc. of San Jose, California, and SK Hynix Memory Solutions Inc. of San Jose, California (collectively, “SK Hynix”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain memory modules and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,606,907 (the ’907 patent) and 9,535,623 (the ’623 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to memory modules, i.e., circuit boards that contain dynamic random access memory (DRAM) integrated circuits.  In particular, the ’907 patent relates to a memory module with a central module control circuit and a distributed buffer architecture.  The ’623 patent relates to a memory module that can operate in at least two distinct modes:  a first mode during which parity errors are driven to the memory controller of the host system, and a second mode during which the module performs one or more training sequences.
In the complaint, Netlist states that SK Hynix imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to SK Hynix DDR4 LRDIMM and RDIMM products as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Netlist states that its own high-performance memory modules practice claims of the asserted patents.  Netlist further states that Netlist engineers working in California invented the technology of the asserted patents and have worked to implement such technology in Netlist’s products.  Netlist specifically refers to its headquarters facility in California—which is approximately 8,200 square feet in size—in support of its domestic industry contentions.
As to related litigation, Netlist states that it is currently engaged in a litigation against SK Hynix in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, where Netlist is accusing SK Hynix of infringing the asserted patents.  Netlist also refers to ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-1023, where Netlist is currently asserting patents other than the asserted patents against SK Hynix.  See our October 3, 2016 post for more details on the 337-TA-1023 investigation.
With respect to potential remedy, Netlist requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at SK Hynix and others acting on its behalf.