By Eric Schweibenz
On August 12, 2009, LG Electronics, Inc. of Seoul, South Korea (“LG”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that proposed respondents Funai Electric Co., Ltd. of Japan, Funai Corp., Inc. of Rutherford, New Jersey, and P&F USA, Inc. of Alpharetta, Georgia (collectively, “Funai”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain video displays, components thereof, and products containing same which allegedly infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,790,096, 5,537,612 and 5,549,522.

According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate generally to television display operation, such as power systems for certain flat-panel televisions and certain startup power sequences, as well as user services for such displays, including technologies that selectively disrupt the television when certain codes are received, or that display program guide information on the screen.

In the complaint, LG alleges that Funai manufactures, assembles and/or packages and tests flat panel televisions overseas and sells flat panel televisions for importation into the U.S. that infringe certain claims of the asserted patents.

Regarding domestic industry (economic prong), LG alleges in its complaint that it “conducts significant domestic industry activities,” including “investment in plant and equipment, employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents,” as well as “significant investment in licensing relating to one or more of the asserted patents.”  Further, LG asserts that it satisfies the domestic industry (technical prong) requirement by practicing “at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.”

In the complaint, LG alleges that it contemporaneously filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas asserting that Funai infringes the patents asserted in the complaint.  LG also listed the following related litigations involving the asserted patents:

  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. Petters Group Worldwide, LLC et al., No. 5:08-cv-163, Eastern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent and ‘612 patent (currently in discovery)

  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. TTE Technology, Inc. et al., No. 5:07-cv-26, Eastern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent and ‘612 patent (settled)

  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. Hitachi, Ltd. et al., No. 5:07-cv-90, Eastern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent (settled)

  • Allus Technology Corp. v. Compaq Computer Corp., No. 4:99-cv-1342, Southern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent (settled prior to LG’s acquisition of the ‘096 patent)

Regarding potential remedy, LG requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed to all of the proposed respondents.