By Eric Schweibenz
On July 16, 2010, Vizio, Inc. of Irvine, California (“Vizio”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea and LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (collectively, “LGE”) have sold for importation, imported, and/or sold within the U.S. after importation certain flat panel digital televisions and components thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,511,096, 5,621,761, 5,703,887, 5,745,522, 5,511,082, 5,396,518, and 5,233,629 (collectively, “the Asserted Patents).

According to the complaint, the “general technology at issue in this case involves the transmission and reception of digital television (‘TV’) signals via cable delivery systems.  More specifically, all of the Asserted Patents relate to the decoding and demodulation of digital TV signals transmitted via digital cable TV delivery system to a TV receiver.”

In the complaint, Vizio alleges that LGE’s digital television products are manufactured, assembled, and/or packaged and tested overseas, at least in Mexico.

Regarding related litigation, Vizio lists in its complaint a number of U.S. district court cases involving the asserted patents, including a pending litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against LGE, filed on June 5, 2009.

With respect to domestic industry, Vizio asserts that an industry exists in the U.S. relating to its digital televisions.  Specifically, Vizio alleges that its digital televisions practice at least one claim of each of the Asserted Patents.  In addition, Vizio asserts that its significant employment of labor and capital, and its substantial investment in exploitation of the Asserted Patents, constitute a domestic industry under 19 U.S.C. §§ 1337(a)(3)(B) and (C).

With respect to potential remedy, Vizio requests that the ITC issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to LGE.

Also on July 16, the Commission issued its first notice of receipt of a complaint.  As we explained in our July 13, 2010 post, the Commission will now issue these notices upon receipt of a Section 337 complaint to solicit comments from the complainant, proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public on any public interest issues raised by the complaints.  According to the July 16 notice, the Commission is interested in comments that (i) explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S., (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders, (iii) indicate the extent to which like or directly competitive articles are produced in the U.S. or are otherwise available in the U.S., with respect to the articles potentially subject to the orders, and (iv) indicate whether Complainant, its licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to an exclusion order and a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time.  The July 16 notice further indicates that written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, five business days after the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register.