On February 18, 2009, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued an order denying complainant Saxon Innovations, LLC’s  (“Saxon’s”) motion to amend its complaint to add Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLP (collectively “Samsung”) as respondents in the matter of Certain Electronic Devices, Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices (Inv. No. 337-TA-667).

Saxon has been litigating a separate patent infringement suit against Samsung in the Eastern District of Texas since October 2007, and the parties have been in settlement negotiations since December 2007.  In its motion to amend its complaint in the ITC, Saxon claimed that several months prior to filing the complaint, it notified Samsung of its intent to include Samsung as a respondent.  Saxon stated that it agreed to refrain from adding Samsung as a respondent as long as the parties continued working towards a settlement in the district court case.  However, since Samsung had allegedly expressed concern regarding any delay in commencing the investigation, Saxon now needed to add Samsung as a respondent.

Under Commission Rule 210.14(b), “the complaint or notice of investigation may be amended only be leave of the Commission for good cause shown and upon such conditions as are necessary to avoid prejudicing the public interest and the rights of the parties to the investigation.”

Saxon claimed that the necessary good cause existed because it was moving to amend its complaint at a very early stage of the investigation – within two business days of the preliminary conference, and before any of the original respondents had answered the complaint.  Samsung argued that there was no good cause because Saxon had unilaterally decided to file its complaint without naming Samsung , and because Samsung had never agreed to be added to the investigation if settlement was not reached in the district court case.

ALJ Rogers denied Saxon’s motion after finding that it failed to establish the necessary good cause to amend.  “Saxon was in complete control over the filing of its complaint and made the tactical decision to omit Samsung as a respondent. Samsung is not closely related to any of the current respondents (e.g. a subsidiary).  Saxon has failed to show, or even assert, that adding Samsung is necessary to develop a full and complete record… Therefore, Saxon's motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation is DENIED.”

On February 18, 2009, Saxon filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging infringement of the same three patents that are at issue in this investigation.