By Eric Schweibenz
On November 13, 2009, Pioneer Corporation of Japan and Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. of Long Beach, California (collectively “Pioneer”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Garmin International, Inc. of Olathe, Kansas, Garmin Corporation of Taiwan (collectively, “Garmin”), and Honeywell International Inc. of Morristown, New Jersey (“Honeywell”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain multimedia display and navigation devices and systems, components thereof, and products containing the same which allegedly infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,365,448 (the ‘448 patent), 6,122,592 (the ‘592 patent), and 5,424,951 (the ‘951 patent).

According to the complaint, the “technology and products at issue concern multimedia display and navigation devices and systems, components thereof, and products containing such devices and systems, such as portable GPS navigation systems…that are capable of processing, organizing, and displaying information in a manner that comes within the scope of the asserted patents’ claims.”  Specifically, the (i) “‘448 patent generally covers improvements to the way navigation systems display navigation information, including the distance and direction from the present location of the system to a destination”; (ii) “‘592 patent generally covers improvements to the map display system associated with a navigational system”; and (iii) “‘951 patent generally covers improvements to the way in which navigation systems allow users to register information associated with a service facility.”

In the complaint, Pioneer asserts that the portable GPS navigation systems and products of Garmin and Honeywell that are designed for use in a vehicle are accused of infringement.  While Pioneer identifies in the complaint a number of specific Garmin and Honeywell models as accused products, it also asserts that the “identification of a specific model or type of product is not intended to limit the scope of the Investigation, and any remedy should extend to all infringing products.”

Regarding domestic industry, Pioneer alleges in the complaint that it satisfies 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(3)(C) based on “an extensive in-house licensing capability that implements all necessary licensing functions for its intellectual property portfolio.”  Pioneer further asserts that it “employs licensing professionals in Japan and the United States to work on projects involving Pioneer’s extensive patent portfolio.  These licensing professionals work alongside intellectual property counsel in evaluating licensing opportunities, including opportunities involving Pioneer’s multimedia display and navigation system patent portfolio.”

With respect to potential remedy, Pioneer asks that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed to each proposed respondent.