By Eric Schweibenz
On February 25, 2009, Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Washington filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337.

The complaint alleges that TomTom N.V. of the Netherlands and TomTom, Inc. of Concord, Massachusetts (collectively, “TomTom”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain portable navigation computing devices and associated computer software that infringe certain claims of the following U.S. Patents: (1) U.S. Patent No. 6,175,789; (2) U.S. Patent No. 7,054,745; (3) U.S. Patent No. 5,579,517; (4) U.S. Patent No. 5,758,352; and (5) U.S. Patent No. 6,256,642.

According to the complaint, the ‘789 patent relates to “a vehicle computer system with an open computing platform capable of integrating and controlling various electronic components in the vehicle.”  The complaint further alleges that the ‘745 patent relates to “methods for generating clear and concise driving directions for use by, for example, navigation systems.”  The complaint also alleges that the ‘517 and ‘352 patents relate to “systems and methods for implementing both long and short file names in the same file system.”  Finally, the complaint alleges that the ‘642 patent relates to “techniques for managing flash memory, including allocating and deallocating blocks of flash memory.”

In Microsoft’s complaint, at least thirteen different models of TomTom’s popular portable navigation computing devices and accompanying software are accused of infringement.  Microsoft also alleges “[o]n information and belief” that the accused TomTom products are made for TomTom in China by a third party vendor.

Microsoft alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents are practiced by Microsoft as follows: (1) the ‘789 patent is practiced by Microsoft Auto; (2) the ‘745 patent is practiced by MapPoint 2009; (3) the ‘517 and ‘352 patents are practiced by Windows Vista and XP, respectively; and (4) the ‘642 patent is practiced by Windows CE.

Microsoft also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through the research and development of the Microsoft products noted above.