By Eric Schweibenz
On June 14, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 19 (dated April 22, 2010) in Certain DC-DC Controllers and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-698), granting Complainants Richtek Technology Corp. and Richtek USA, Inc.’s (collectively, “Richtek”) motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation to add allegations of infringement of claims 8-11 of U.S. Patent No. 7,315,190 (the ‘190 patent).

Richtek filed its motion on April 13, 2010, and according to the Order, argued that good cause existed to amend the complaint and notice of investigation because Richtek recently confirmed through documents produced during discovery that uPI's 6/xx family of products infringe dependent claims 8-11 of the ‘190 patent and that Respondents will not be prejudiced by the addition of such claims.

On April 20, 2010, Respondents uPI Semiconductor Corp. (“uPI”), Sapphire Technology Limited, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Best Data Products, Inc. d/b/a Diamond Multimedia, and Eastcom, Inc. d/b/a XFX Technology USA (collectively, “Respondents”) opposed Richtek’s motion.  The Commission Investigative Staff stated on April 21, 2010 that it did not oppose Richtek’s motion.

According to the Order, Respondents argued that the “supposedly new information relied upon by Richtek was available in discovery as of February 9,” and that Richtek’s motion unfairly prejudiced Respondents with respect to previously scheduled deadlines and respondents' non-infringement and invalidity positions.

ALJ Luckern determined that uPI delivered corrected copies of circuit schematics to Richtek on March 9, 2010, and that those schematics were immediately provided to Richtek’s expert, who diligently worked to complete an infringement analysis, and that discussions at a hearing held on March 5, 2010, regarding uPI’s production, cast “some doubt on respondents' argument that what was produced on February 9 by uPI was ‘complete.’”

ALJ Luckern also determined that each of claims 8-11 of the ‘190 patent depend from independent claim 1, which was already at issue in this investigation, and about which the Respondents have known from the outset.  As of the original April 22, 2010 date of the Order, ALJ Luckern further determined that responses to contention interrogatories are not due until April 30, 2010, expert reports are not due until May 7 and May 26, 2010, and expert discovery does not close until June 18, 2010.  He additionally determined that in the current investigation, more than a month remained before close of fact discovery, and the hearing was more than three months away.  Based on the foregoing, ALJ Luckern granted Richtek’s motion in the form of an Initial Determination.