By Eric Schweibenz
On January 8, 2010, Sharp Corporation of Japan (“Sharp”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. of San Jose, California (collectively, “Samsung”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain liquid crystal display (“LCD”) modules and products containing the same, and methods for making the same which allegedly infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,379,140 (the ‘140 Patent), 6,141,075 (the ‘075 Patent), 7,283,192 (the ‘192 Patent), 5,670,994 (the ‘994 Patent), and 7,408,588 (the ‘588 Patent).

According to the complaint, (1) the ‘140 and ‘075 Patents generally relate to a “Vertically Aligned (‘VA’) LCD device that provides improved viewing angle and better contrast,” (2) the ‘192 Patent generally relates to an “LCD device having improved γ characteristics at wide viewing angles,” (3) the ‘994 patent generally relates to an “LCD device having improved weight, reliability, size, and cost,” and (4) the ‘588 Patent generally relates to “image processing circuitry.”

In the complaint, Sharp alleges that the accused Samsung LCD modules and products are manufactured abroad in Mexico, China, and/or Korea and sold in the United States through various retailers.

With respect to related litigation, Sharp identifies in the complaint a number of district court actions and Section 337 investigations currently pending between Samsung and Sharp involving LCD technology.  Sharp notes, however, that none of these matters involve the same patents asserted in the instant complaint.

Regarding domestic industry, Sharp asserts that “[a]lthough Sharp does not manufacture LCD modules or products containing such modules in the United States, a domestic industry exists based upon the substantial investment of Sharp’s subsidiaries in research and development, testing, repair, refurbishment, customer support and other after-market activities in the United States related to the patents-in-suit.”

With respect to potential remedy, Sharp asks that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order directed to Samsung.