By Eric Schweibenz and Alex EnglehartOn October 6, 2016, Nite Ize, Inc. of Boulder, Colorado (“Nite Ize”) filed a complaint 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 mobile device holders and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,870,146 (the ’146 patent), 8,602,376 (the ’376 patent), D734,746 (the ’746 patent), and D719,959 (the ’959 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):
- Shenzhen Youtai Trade Company Limited of China
- REXS LLC of Lewes, Delaware
- Spinido, Inc. of Brighton, Colorado
- Luo, Qiben, d/b/a Lita International Shop of China
- Guangzhou Kuaguoyi E-commerce Co., Ltd. d/b/a Kagu Culture of China
- Shenzhen New Dream Technology Co., Ltd. d/b/a Newdreams of China
- Shenzhen Gold South Technology Co., Ltd. d/b/a Baidatong of China
- Zhao Chunhui d/b/a Skyocean of China
- Sunpauto Co., Ltd. of Hong Kong
- Wang Zhi Gang d/b/a IceFox of China
- Dang Yuya d/b/a Sminiker of China
- Shenzhen Topworld Technology Co. d/b/a/ IdeaPro of Hong Kong
- Lin Zhen Mei d/b/a Anson of China
- Wu Xuying d/b/a Novoland of China
- Shenzhen New Dream Sailing Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. d/b/a MegaDream of China
- Zhongshan Feiyu Hardware Technology Co., Ltd. d/b/a YouFo of China
- Ninghuaxian Wangfulong Chaojishichang Youxian Gongsi, Ltd. d/b/a EasybuyUS of China
- Chang Lee d/b/a Frentaly of Duluth, Georgia
- Trendbox USA LLC d/b/a Trendbox of Scottsdale, Arizona
- Timespa d/b/a Jia Bai Nian (Shenzhen) Electronic Commerce Trade Co., Ltd. of China
- Tontek d/b/a Shenzhen Hetongtai Electronics Co., Ltd. of China
- Scotabc d/b/a ShenChuang Opto-electronics Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Tenswall d/b/a Shenzhen Tenswall of La Puente, California
- Luo Jieqiong d/b/a Wekin of China
- Pecham d/b/a Baichen Technology Ltd. of Hong Kong
- Cyrift d/b/a Guangzhou Sunway E-Commerce L.L.C. of China
- Rymemo d/b/a Global Box, LLC of Dunbar, Pennsylvania
- Wang Guoxiang d/b/a Minse of China
- Yuan I d/b/a Bestrix of China
- Zhiping Zhou d/b/a Runshion of China
- Funlavie of Riverside, California
- Huijukon d/b/a Shenzhen Hui Ju Kang Technology Co. Ltd. of China
- Zhang Huajun d/b/a CeeOne of China
- EasyAcc d/b/a Searay LLC of Newark, Delaware
- Barsone d/b/a Shenzhen Senweite Electronic Commerce Ltd. of China
- Oumeiou d/b/a Shenzhen Oumeiou Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Grando d/b/a Shenzhen Dashentai Network Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Shenzhen Yingxue Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Shenzhen Longwang Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Hu Peng d/b/a AtomBud of China
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to mounts that position mobile devices so that users can view the device without physically holding it. In particular, the ’376 and ’146 patents relate to a disk that contains a high-friction piece of material and a powerful magnet that can attach to a rounded ball-like surface, such that the disk can hold and position a mobile device however a user desires. The ’746 patent relates to an ornamental design for a stand for holding an electronic device, which is designed to be attached to a dashboard of a vehicle via an adhesive strip. Lastly, the ’959 patent relates to an ornamental design for an indented socket for interfacing with a stand having a curved surface.
In the complaint, Nite Ize states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to various mobile device holders associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Nite Ize states that it has made significant investments in its facilities, engaged in a significant employment of labor and capital, and made significant investments in the exploitation of the asserted patents in the U.S. Nite Ize further states that its Steelie products, which are developed, sold, and supported in the U.S., practice at least one claim of each of the asserted patents. Nite Ize also states that it maintains three relevant facilities in Colorado that employ approximately 80, 78, and 66 employees respectively. According to the complaint, these employees are engaged in engineering, research, development, operations, and manufacturing of Nite Ize’s domestic industry products.
As to related litigation, Nite Ize states that it previously sued Mobio Holdings LLC and Darek S. Spring in Colorado state court on various causes of action relating to sales of a knock-off product. According to the complaint, that state court litigation was dismissed in 2013.
With respect to potential remedy, Nite Ize requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents. Nite Ize states that a general exclusion order is warranted both to prevent circumvention of any limited exclusion order and because there is a pattern of violation of Section 337 and it is difficult to identify the source of infringing products.