By Eric Schweibenz
On February 17, 2012, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining that there has been no violation of Section 337 in Certain Portable Electronic Devices and Related Software (Inv. No. 337-TA-721).

By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is HTC Corporation (“HTC”) and the Respondent is Apple Inc. (“Apple”).  On December 21, 2011, ALJ Charles E. Bullock determined in his Initial Determination (“ID”) that no violation of Section 337 had occurred by Apple in the importation into the U.S., sale for importation, or sale within the U.S. after importation of certain portable electronic devices and related software.  Specifically, the ALJ found that Apple did not infringe various claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,999,800 (the ‘800 patent), 5,541,988 (the ‘988 patent), 6,320,957 (the ‘957 patent), and 7,716,505 (the ‘505 patent).  ALJ Bullock also found that the asserted claims are not invalid.  Lastly, the ALJ found that a domestic industry exists with respect to the ‘988 and ‘957 patents, but not with respect to the ‘800 and ‘505 patents.  See our January 5, 2012 post for more details.   

According to the February 17 notice, after examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and the submissions of the parties, the Commission determined that there has been no violation of Section 337.  More particularly, the Commission determined “to reverse the ALJ’s finding that the ‘switching the PDA system from normal mode to sleep mode when the PDA system has been idle for a second period of time’ limitation of claim 1 is met and affirm the ALJ’s determination that the accused products do not meet the ‘implementing a power detection method comprising steps of: detecting an amount of power of a source in the power system; switching the mobile phone system to off mode when the detected amount is less than a first threshold; and switching the PDA system to off mode when the detected amount is less than a second threshold’ limitations of claim 1.”  The Commission also affirmed the ALJ’s finding that no domestic industry exists for the ‘800 patent.  Lastly, the Commission also found that Apple’s waiver argument is moot.