By Eric Schweibenz
On May 12, 2014, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. of Austin, Texas (“Freescale”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain integrated circuits and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,962,926 (the ‘926 patent), 7,158,432 (the ‘432 patent), 7,230,505 (the ‘505 patent), 7,518,947 (the ‘947 patent), 7,626,276 (the ‘276 patent), and 7,746,716 (the ‘716 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • MediaTek Inc. of Taiwan

  • MediaTek USA Inc. of San Jose, California

  • Acer Inc. of Taiwan

  • AmTRAN Technology Co. Ltd. of Taiwan

  • AmTRAN Logistics, Inc. of Irvine, California

  • ASUSTek Computer Inc. of Taiwan

  • ASUS Computer International, Inc. of Fremont, California

  • BLU Products, Inc. of Doral, Florida

  • Sharp Corp. of Japan

  • Sharp Electronics Corp. of Mahwah, New Jersey

  • Sharp Electronics Manufacturing Co. of America Inc. of San Diego, California

  • Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. of Irvine, California

  • Toshiba Logistics America, Inc. of Irvine, California

  • TPV Display Technology (Xiamen) Co., Ltd. of China

  • Trend Smart America, Ltd. of Lake Forest, California

  • Trend Smart Ce Mexico, S.r.l. de C.V. of Mexico

  • Vizio, Inc. of Irvine, California

  • Yamaha Corp. of Japan

  • Yamaha Corp. of America of Buena Park, California

  • Lenovo Group Ltd. of China

  • Lenovo (United States) Inc. of Morrisville, North Carolina

  • Best Buy Co., Inc. of Richfield, Minnesota

  • Newegg Inc. of City of Industry, California

  • Buy.com Inc. d/b/a Rakuten.com Shopping of Aliso Viejo, California

  • Walmart Stores, Inc. of Bentonville, Arkansas

  • Amazon.com, Inc. of Seattle, Washington

  • B & H Foto & Electronics Corp. of New York, New York

  • Costco Wholesale Corp. of Issaquah, Washington

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to circuitry for timing operations within memory circuits, and to bond pad structures and layouts used on integrated circuits.  In particular, the ‘926 patent relates to a semiconductor device employing two or more rows of bond pads.  The ‘432 patent relates to a memory device using sense amplifiers with fast sense time and resistance to perturbations in the signal on the sense line.  The ‘505 patent relates to a voltage controlled oscillator with gain control to reduce variation in the Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) gain as a consequence of changing voltage inputs.  The ‘947 patent relates to a self-timed memory using a set of local clock driver circuits inside the memory itself for providing timing functions, rather than reliance upon an external clock to synchronize internal memory operation.  The ‘276 patent relates to layering techniques in the metal/dielectric stack underlying a bond pad.  Lastly, the ‘716 patent relates to a memory having a dummy bitline for timing control.

In the complaint, Freescale states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  Freescale specifically refers to various integrated circuits, wireless communication devices, wireless phones, televisions, optical disc players, and tablets associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Freescale states that it has made significant investments in plant, equipment, labor, and capital in the U.S. with respect to articles protected by the asserted patents.  Freescale also states that it has made a substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through engineering, and research and development.  Freescale states that it received revenues of $4.19 billion in 2013, and expended $755 million on research and development that year.

As to related litigation, Freescale states that, concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it also filed suit for infringement of the asserted patents against certain of the Proposed Respondents in a U.S. district court.

With respect to potential remedy, Freescale requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents and related entities.  Freescale states that a general exclusion order is warranted because products incorporating allegedly infringing integrated circuits are widely dispersed and constitute a pattern of violation of Section 337, and the source of those products is difficult to ascertain.