By Eric Schweibenz
On December 23, 2013, Magna Electronics Inc. (“Magna”) of Auburn Hills, Michigan filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that TRW Automotive U.S. LLC of Livonia, Michigan (“TRW”) unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain vision-based driver assistance system cameras that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,116,929 (the ‘929 patent) and 8,593,521 (the ‘521 patent).

According to the complaint, the ‘919 patent “concerns use of the shadow cast on the ground by a host vehicle equipped with a forward detecting camera such as Magna’s forward facing camera module (‘FCM’)” which can “determine the range to the vehicle ahead from the moving host vehicle in real time.”  Further according to the complaint, the ‘521 patent “concerns an automotive forward detecting camera that operates with repeating image data frame sets.” 

In the complaint, Magna alleges that TRW produces infringing “S-Cam” products that contain “Mobileye processing chipsets” which are “supplied to General Motors and are used in model year 2014 Chevrolet Silverado vehicles” that are imported into the U.S. from Mexico.  

Regarding domestic industry, Magna asserts that it has conducted significant activities in the U.S. relating to FCMs, including research and development, engineering, manufacturing, quality control, packaging, warranty and technical support as well as customer service.

As to related litigation, Magna lists a number of recent cases involving TRW, including an ITC complaint filed by TRW earlier this year.  See our September 24, 2013 post for more details on TRW’s complaint and our November 8, 2013 post on the corresponding notice of investigation in that matter – 337-TA-899.  

With respect to potential remedy, Magna requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at TRW in relation to the accused products.