By John Presper

On June 22, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Barcode Scanners, Scan Engines, Mobile Computers with Barcode Scanning Functionalities, Products Containing the Same, and Components Thereof II (Inv. No. 337-TA-1321).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a May 20, 2022 complaint filed by Honeywell International Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina and Hand Held Products, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina (collectively, “Complainants”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents Zebra Technologies Corporation of Lincolnshire, Illinois and Symbol Technologies, Inc. of Holtsville, New York (collectively, “Respondents”) in the unlawful importation/sale of certain barcode scanners, scan engines, mobile computers with barcode scanning functionalities, products containing the same, and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 11,323,649 (“the ’649 patent”), U.S. Patent No. 11,323,650 (“the ’650 patent”), U.S. Patent No. 7,852,519 (“the ’519 patent”), U.S. Patent No. 9,258,188 (“the ’188 patent”), and U.S. Patent No. 8,635,309 (“the ’309 patent”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to barcode scanning products.  Specifically, the ’649 and ’650 patents are directed to an apparatus using a CMOS image sensor in a global-shutter mode to decode a barcode; the ’519 patent is directed to a barcode scanning device that utilizes a first image processing procedure that processes one or more images within a first period of time, and a second image processing procedure that processes one or more images within a second period of time, where the first period of time is constrained to be less than or equal to the second period of time; the ’188 patent is directed to an interface node that facilitates management of a fleet of portable encoded information reading (EIR) terminals by directing performance of software upgrades and/or configuration update actions by one or more members of the fleet of EIR terminals; and the ’309 patent is directed to methods and apparatus for the post-sale secure activation, modification, and de-activation of features of data collection devices.  The accused products are Zebra barcode scan engines and barcode scanners (such as stationary scanners, handheld scanners, companion scanners, cabled scanners, wireless scanners, and mobile scanning devices), mobile computers with barcode scanning functionalities (such as hand-held, tablet, and wearable computers) and components thereof (such as un-decoded scan engines, decoder boards, and imaging modules).  Complainants are requesting that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and cease-and-desist order against Respondents.  According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation.  Lastly, Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued a notice indicating that ALJ Bhattacharyya will preside in the investigation.