By Eric Schweibenz
On January 28, 2014, Cresta Technology Corp. (“CrestaTech”) of Santa Clara, California filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint names Silicon Laboratories, Inc. of Austin, Texas; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd of Korea; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; LG Electronics Inc. of Korea; LG Electronics U.S.A. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (collectively, the “Silicon Labs Proposed Respondents”); MaxLinear, Inc. of Carlsbad, California; Sharp Corporation of Japan; Sharp Electronics Corporation of Mahwah, New Jersey; and Vizio, Inc. of Irvine, California (collectively, the “MaxLinear Proposed Respondents”).  CrestaTech alleges that the Proposed Respondents unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain television sets, television receivers, television tuners, and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,075,585 (the ‘585 patent), 7,265,792 (the ‘792 patent) and 7,251,466 (the ‘466 patent).

According to the complaint, the ‘585 patent “generally claims a television receiver that includes a multistandard channel filter with a programmable intermediate frequency, adapted to receive television signals in a variety of television standards and formats, and a plurality of demodulators for demodulating the signals in accordance with their format;” the ‘792 patent “generally claims a television receiver for digital and analog television signals that includes a frequency conversion circuit that receives an input radio frequency (‘RF’) signal in one of several television signal formats or standards and converts the input RF signal to an intermediate frequency signal (‘IF Signal’), an analog-to-digital converter that samples the IF Signal and generates a digital representation of the IF Signal, a signal processor that processes that digital representation in accordance with the television signal format of the input RF signal and generates digital output signals indicative of information encoded in the input RF signal, and a signal output circuit that receives the digital output signals from the signal processor and provides one or more output signals;” and the ‘466 patent “generally claims a television receiver or tuner circuit that includes a band selection filter coupled to receive an input RF signal and provide a band selected output signal, where the band selection filter includes a bank of band pass filters.”

In the complaint, CrestaTech names several Silicon Labs’ tuner products that allegedly infringe the ‘585, ‘792, and ‘466 patents: (1) Generation: Si2170, Si2172; (2) Generation: Si2173; (3) Generation: Si2155, Si2136, Si2l46, Si2156, Si2176; (4) Generation: Si2l38, Si2148, Si2158, Si2178; and (5) Generation: Si2127, Si2l37, Si2147, Si2l57, Si2177 (collectively, the “Silicon Labs Products”) which are purported to be imported into and sold within the US by or on behalf of the Silicon Labs Respondents in exemplary infringing television models, including the Samsung model UN40F6300AF and the LG model 42LN5400.  Further in the complaint, CrestaTech also alleges that MaxLinear’s MxL601 tuner products infringe the ‘585, ‘792, and ‘466 patents and are imported into and sold within the US by or on behalf of the Silicon Labs Respondents in exemplary infringing television models, including the Sharp model LC-60LE650U and Vizio model M32li-A2. 

Regarding domestic industry, CrestaTech asserts that it has continuing significant investments in plant and equipment, employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in exploitation of the CrestaTech Patents, namely through its XC5000 series and CTC70X series television tuner products, and the research, design, development, engineering, product support, manufacturing support, firmware development, testing, and various customer support activities focused on them.  CrestaTech notes that its investments and activities are substantial both in absolute and relative terms; that they are important to the protected articles and represent significant domestic added value; that they are significant and substantial in the context of comparable products, the company’s overall investments, and the relevant marketplace; and that CrestaTech’s foreign product-related investments and activities related to its XC5000 series and CTC70X series products are relatively small in comparison to their domestic activities.  CrestaTech adds that to the extent its activities are not yet sufficient to establish domestic industry, that it has taken and is taking the necessary steps to establish a domestic industry in the U.S.

As to related litigation, CrestaTech asserts that the ‘585, ‘792, and ‘466 patents are currently the subject of litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, in case nos. 1:14-cv-00078 and 1:14-cv-00079 filed January 21, 2014 against Silicon Labs Proposed Respondents and MaxLinear Proposed Respondents.

With respect to potential remedy, CrestaTech requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders directed at Silicon Labs Proposed Respondents and the MaxLinear Proposed Respondents in relation to the accused products.