By Eric Schweibenz
On July 6, 2010, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the public version of Order No. 17 (dated June 17, 2010) in Certain Electronic Devices, Including Mobile Phones, Portable Music Players, and Computers (Inv. No. 337-TA-701).  In the Order, ALJ Gildea granted Respondent Apple, Inc.’s (“Apple”) motion to compel production of a corporate designee with knowledge relating to Complainants Nokia Corporation and Nokia, Inc.’s (collectively “Nokia”) alleged domestic industry practicing asserted U.S. Patent No. 6,714,091 (the ‘091 patent).

In support of the motion, Apple argued that Nokia did not produce a corporate representative able to provide meaningful testimony regarding Nokia’s alleged practice of the ‘091 patent.  Specifically, Apple argued that Nokia’s designated witness, Jesse Khatam, was not knowledgeable about the factual bases for Nokia’s domestic industry assertions in its Complaint for the ‘091 patent and that Nokia had a duty to prepare its corporate designee so that he may give knowledgeable and binding answers.  Nokia opposed Apple’s motion arguing that (i) Apple sought to compel testimony regarding facts outside of Nokia’s knowledge since details about the phone model it alleged practiced the ‘091 patent was in the possession of an outside vendor or third party manufacturer, and (ii) Apple sought sales-related testimony from the wrong witness.

According to the Order, ALJ Gildea rejected “Nokia’s argument that Apple must apply solely to nonparty sources for information relating to Nokia’s assertions that it has a domestic industry practicing the ‘091 patent.”  ALJ Gildea further rejected Nokia’s argument that Apple was able to obtain some of the information at issue from a different sales-related witness since “Nokia did not provide any information to show that Ms. Solaranta’s level of preparation on economic domestic industry as it relates to the ‘091 patent was adequate.”  Accordingly, ALJ Gildea granted Apple’s motion and ordered Nokia to “prepare and provide at least one knowledgeable corporate witness for deposition by June 25, 2010, or at such time as the parties may agree.”