By Eric Schweibenz
On August 23, 2010, Chimei Innolux Corporation of Taiwan, Chi Mei Optoelectronics U.S.A., Inc. of San Jose, California, and Innolux Corporation of Austin, Texas (collectively, “CMI”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Sony Corporation of Japan, Sony Corporation of America of New York, New York, Sony Electronics Corporation of San Diego, California, and Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC of Foster City, California (collectively, “Respondents” or “Sony”) through the manufacture, sale for importation, importation, and/or sale within the U.S. after importation of liquid crystal display devices and products interoperable with same infringe certain claims in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,134,092 (‘092 patent), 6,671,019 (‘019 patent), and 5,732,241 (‘241 patent) (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”).

The complaint more specifically asserts that the Sony products at issue are LCD televisions, computer monitors and notebooks, digital cameras, and video gaming consoles.

The complaint asserts that the ‘092 patent is directed to an illumination display device using point light sources, such as LED chips to emit light that travels through a waveguide and illuminates an LCD screen, wherein diffusive reflective surfaces reflect light emitted by the LED chips into areas of the waveguide between the light sources to create a substantially uniform illumination.  The complaint describes the ‘019 patent as directed generally to liquid crystals in LCD displays using a pixel electrode pattern that includes at least one non-conductive gap, the size and location of which allows for improved control of the liquid crystal orientation, resulting in faster switching speeds and a higher quality display.  The ‘241 Patent is described as a novel cache memory system architecture that decouples the computer's main system memory from the computer host's data bus, using a set of registers or buffers as temporary storage locations between the cache memory and the host bus, and between the cache memory and the system bus, which allows the CPU or host to access the cache while system memory transfer operations are being performed in parallel, and also hides lengthy main memory operations from the host.

Regarding related litigation, CMI identifies two separate U.S. district court cases that involved two of the Asserted Patents.  CMI added that concurrently with its complaint, it filed an action against Sony in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware for infringement of the Asserted Patents.

With respect to the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement, CMI asserts that several of its LCD television and computer monitor product lines practice one or more claims of the ‘019 and ‘092 patents, while products manufactured by a third party licensee of the ‘241 patent practices at least one of more claims of the asserted patents.   As to the economic prong, CMI asserts it has made significant investment in plant and equipment in the United States, and it made substantial investment in the exploitation of the ‘019 and ‘092 patents by engineering and research and development in the United States, while a third party licensee made substantial investments in labor and capital in activities related to the ‘241 patent.

With respect to potential remedy, Lexmark requests the ITC to issue a permanent exclusion order pursuant to Section 337(d), and a permanent cease-and-desist order pursuant to Section 337(f) directed to each Respondent.