By Eric Schweibenz
On December 1, 2009, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea (“Samsung”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Sharp Corporation of Japan, Sharp Electronics Corporation, and Sharp Electronics Manufacturing Company of America, Inc. (collectively, “Sharp”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain liquid crystal display (“LCD”) devices and products containing the same which allegedly infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,844,533 (the ‘533 patent), 6,888,585 (the ‘585 patent), and 7,436,479 (the ‘479 patent).

According to the complaint, the “technologies at issue relate generally to various aspects of liquid crystal displays.”  Specifically, (i) the “‘533 patent relates to a liquid crystal display device, and more particularly to generating high quality gray scale images in an LCD device,” (ii) the “‘585 patent relates to a control signal unit in an LCD device that overcomes problems in the prior art caused by discharge of static electricity,” and (iii) the “‘479 patent relates generally to improving image quality in an LCD device.”

In the complaint, Samsung alleges that “the accused products are manufactured, assembled and/or packaged and tested outside of the United States, specifically, at least in Mexico.”  Samsung further alleges that the accused products include at least the Sharp AQUOS LC40E77UN 40” 1080p LCD HDTV and the Sharp AQUOS LC46E77UN 46” 1080p LCD HDTV.

With respect to domestic industry (technical prong), Samsung asserts that “Samsung-branded consumer digital display products, including, but not limited to, LCD televisions and LCD monitors” are covered by the asserted patents.  Further, Samsung alleges that it satisfies the domestic industry (economic prong) requirement through the activities in the United States of Samsung’s subsidiaries, including “significant employment of labor or capital in the United States.”

Regarding potential remedy, Samsung asks that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed to Sharp.