By Eric Schweibenz
On September 19, 2013, ALJ David P. Shaw issued the public version of Order No. 19 in Certain Digital Media Devices, Including Televisions, Blu-Ray Disc Players, Home Theater Systems, Tablets and Mobile Phones, Components Thereof and Associated Software (Inv. No. 337-TA-882).

By way of background, this investigation was instituted on June 12, 2013 and is based on a May 13, 2013 complaint filed by Black Hills Media, LLC (“BHM”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain digital media devices that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,028,323; 8,214,873; 8,230,099; 8,045,952; 8,050,652 and 6,618,593.  See our May 16, 2013 and June 20, 2013 posts for more details on the complaint and the notice of investigation, respectively.

According to the Order, Respondents and Intervenor Google Inc. (collectively, the “movants”) filed a joint motion to declassify the identity of two licensees on which BHM relies to satisfy the domestic industry requirement.  BHM opposed the motion and the Commission Investigative Staff filed a response in support of the motion to declassify. 

In the Order, ALJ Shaw determined that “[i]nsamuch as the identity of BHM’s domestic industry licensees is alleged to comprise confidential business information belonging jointly to BHM and the licensees, the administrative law judge is interested in hearing the positions of the two licensees on the issues raised in the parties’ briefs.”  Specifically, ALJ Shaw noted that he was particularly interested in (1) the positions of the unidentified licensees regarding the declassification of their identities so that interested members of the public may comment on the public interest implications of this investigation, and (2) an alternate proposal by the movants that one of the licensees be disclosed in confidence to in-house counsel for the movants.  Accordingly, ALJ Shaw ordered BHM to immediately notify the unidentified licensees about his order and noted that additional briefing will be accepted through the close of business on October 4, 2013.