On December 19, 2011, ALJ Gildea issued the public version of Order No. 8 (dated October 18, 2011) in Certain Dynamic Random Access Memory and NAND Flash Memory Devices and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-803).  In the Order, ALJ Gildea set a hearing on November 15, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to address the effects on the public interest of Complainants’ October 14, 2011 motion to terminate two Respondents, Pentech Co., Ltd. and Pantech Wireless, Inc. from the investigation on the basis of settlement.

By way of background, this investigation is based on a July 12, 2011 complaint filed on behalf of Intellectual Ventures Management, LLC, Invention Investment Fund I, L.P., Invention Investment Fund II, LLC, Intellectual Ventures I LLC, and Intellectual Ventures II LLC, against several manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of DRAM and NAND Flash memory devices by Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor America, Inc. and Elpida Memory, Inc. and Elpida Memory (USA) Inc., for alleged infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,654,932; 5,963,481; 5,982,696; 5,500,819; and 5,687,132.  See our July 13, 2011 post for more details.

As an initial matter, ALJ Gildea ordered Complainants to re-file revised public versions of all three settlement agreements because two were so heavily redacted that the requirement to file non-confidential versions was rendered “meaningless,” and the third agreement was not submitted at all.  ALJ Gildea stated that Complainants may only redact “the minimum required to protect confidential business information, even if that means only redacting single words or portions of a sentence.”

ALJ Gildea set the hearing so that “the parties, and any interested non-parties, may provide argument and relevant evidence regarding the effect of the proposed settlement on the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, and U.S. consumers.”  ALJ Gildea further determined that the parties or interested non-parties were permitted to submit pre-hearing briefs of no more than twenty-five pages, and that the procedures for this hearing on the public interest would be modeled after the procedures set forth in the Ground Rules for an evidentiary hearing.  ALJ Gildea further determined that nonparties who wished to participate in the hearing, and who had argument or evidence relevant to this specific settlement, should contact the ALJ’s assistant, but that since many of the settlement terms are not public, any nonparty’s input on the public interest would be limited.