On March 25, 2009, SPH America, LLC of Vienna, Virginia filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337.

The complaint alleges that Kyocera Corp. of Japan;  Kyocera Wireless Corp. of San Diego, California;  Kyocera Sanyo Telecom, Inc. of Woodland Hills, California;  MetroPCS Communications, Inc. of Richardson, Texas;  MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. of Dallas, Texas;  and Sprint Nextel Corporation of Overland Park, Kansas unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain wireless communications devices and components thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. RE 40,385 and U.S. Patent No. 5,960,029.

According to the complaint, the ‘385 and ‘029 patents relate to signal processing in a wireless telecommunication system.  Specifically, the ‘385 patent “provides a novel and inventive signal processing technique that decreases power consumption or maintains it at a lower level,” and the ‘029 patent “provides a novel and inventive QPSK [quadrature phase-shift keying] modulation/demodulation technique that reduces signal interference, minimizes errors, and improves receiving performance.”

SPH America alleges that certain wireless communication devices manufactured by Kyocera and Sanyo (by way of representative examples, the Kyocera Tempo E2000 and the Sanyo Katana Eclipse X) infringe various claims of the ‘385 and ‘029 patents.  The ‘385 patent contains a total of 287 claims, 243 of which are allegedly infringed by the named respondents, while the ‘029 patent contains 26 claims, 10 of which are allegedly infringed.  According to the complaint, the accused Kyocera devices are manufactured in China and the accused Sanyo devices are manufactured in Malaysia.  SPH America also alleges that MetroPCS sells the Kyocera devices within the U.S. and that Sprint sells the Sanyo devices within the U.S.

SPH America alleges that it satisfies the domestic industry requirement through its licensing of the ‘385 and ‘029 patents to a sublicensee.  According to the complaint, the sublicensee manufactures products covered by the asserted patents and conducts significant domestic activities in the U.S. relating to these products, including significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital in the U.S., and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through research and development, engineering and design activities, and domestic licensing activities.