ALJ Essex

ALJ Essex issues initial determination in certain refrigerators 337-TA-632

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
02
On February 26, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued his initial determination in the matter of Certain Refrigerators and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-632).  The initial determination was issued as a confidential document and a public version is not yet available.

However, according to published reports, LG Electronics announced on Friday that the initial determination (ID) was in its favor and ALJ Essex ruled that LG refrigerators are not covered by Whirlpool’s patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,082,130) for ice storage bins located in refrigerator doors.

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ALJ Essex denies motion to terminate investigation based on arbitration agreement in certain composite wear components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Mar
09
On March 5, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 20 in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex denied respondent AIAE Engineering and Vega Industries Ltd.’s (AIAE) motion to terminate the investigation based on an arbitration agreement.

According to the Order, the arbitration agreement was contained in a Settlement Deed executed by AIAE and complainant Magotteaux International S/A (Magotteaux) that ended their collaboration to develop and manufacture composite wear components in India.

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ALJ Essex grants Magotteaux’s motion to strike AIAE’s identification of its expert witness as untimely in certain composite wear components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
09
On March 5, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 21in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex granted complainants Magotteaux S/A and Magotteaux, Inc.’s (Magotteaux’s) motion to strike respondents AIA Engineering Ltd. and Vega Industries Ltd.’s (AIAE’s) identification of its proposed expert witness as untimely.

The amended procedural schedule in the investigation called for each side to identify its expert witnesses by November 3, 2008.  AIAE first identified its expert witness on December 29, 2008.  On January 9, 2009, Magotteaux filed a motion to strike the identification.  AIAE responded on January 21, 2009.  In its response, AIAE argued that there was no harm stemming from the delay and that striking the identification was a “drastic remedy for a highly technical procedural delay ….” 

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Update Regarding Certain Optoelectronic Devices (337-TA-669)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
17
As indicated in our March 6 post, on March 5, 2009, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted to institute an investigation of certain optoelectronic devices, components thereof, and products containing the same.  Certain Optoelectronic Devices, Components Thereof, And Products Containing the Same (337-TA-669).

Since our March 6 post, ALJ Luckern issued a notice indicating that ALJ Theodore R. Essex will handle this investigation.

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination in Certain Computer Products 337-TA-628

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
18
On March 16, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued a notice regarding his Initial Determination in the matter of Certain Computer Products, Computer Components and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-628). 

According to the notice, ALJ Essex held that no violation of section 337 has occurred in the importation into the U.S., the sale for importation, or the sale within the U.S. after importation of certain computer products, computer components, or products containing same by reason of infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,008,829, 5,249,741, and 5,371,852.  The notice further indicates that the patents-in-suit are valid and that Complainant International Business Machines (IBM) satisfies the domestic industry requirement of section 337 for each of the patents-in-suit.

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ALJ Essex Stays Evidentiary Hearing in Certain Composite Wear Components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
01
On March 31, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 24 in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex stayed the evidentiary hearing scheduled to begin on April 13, 2009. 

On March 23, respondents AIA Engineering Ltd. and Vega Industries Ltd. filed a notice that “it will not participate any further in this investigation, except in connection with appeals or other challenges to the denial by the ALJ of [its] Termination Motion . . . .”  The notice stated that AIAE intended to seek redress against complainant Magotteaux S/A and Magotteaux, Inc. (Magotteaux) for incorrect allegations of patent infringement in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

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ALJ Essex Rejects Private Parties’ Proposed Redactions To The Initial Determination In Certain Computer Products (337-TA-628)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
03
On April 2, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued a Notice regarding the public version of his initial determination in Certain Computer Products, Computer Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-628).  In the notice, ALJ Essex rejected the private parties’ redactions as being “inappropriate” and inconsistent with the definition of “Confidential Business Information” (“CBI”) as set forth in 19 C.F.R. § 201.6 (a)(1).

By way of example, ALJ Essex focused on two proposed redactions in particular.  First, complainant IBM sought to redact one of its legal arguments relating to claim construction, which the ALJ noted was not redacted in IBM’s public version of its initial post hearing brief.  Second, IBM sought to redact the ALJ’s claim construction ruling in the initial determination.  ALJ Essex determined that both of the redactions requested were inappropriate because neither of the items to be redacted disclosed any CBI.

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination in Certain Refrigerators 337-TA-632

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
10
As indicated in our March 2 post, on February 26, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued his initial determination in the matter of Certain Refrigerators and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-632).  On April 6, ALJ Essex issued the public version of his Initial Determination.

In the ID, ALJ Essex determined that Respondents LG Electronics Corp., Inc., LG Electronics, USA, Inc., and LG Electronics Monterrey, Mexico S.A. de C.V. (collectively “LG”) did not violate section 337 through their admitted importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of certain refrigerators because the refrigerators do not infringe Complainants Whirlpool Corp., Whirlpool Manufacturing Corp., Whirlpool Patent Corp., and Maytag Corp.’s (collectively “Whirlpool’s”) U.S. Patent No. 6,082,130.

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Update Regarding Certain Optoelectronic Devices (337-TA-669)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
13
Further to our March 6 and 17 posts, on April 6, 2009 ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 3 - Setting Target Date in Certain Optoelectronic Devices, Components Thereof, And Products Containing the Same (337-TA-669).

According to the Order, ALJ Essex set June 10, 2010 as the target date for completion of the investigation (which is 15 months after institution of the investigation).  Also, any final initial determination is due to be issued no later than February 10, 2010.  In the Order, ALJ Essex further provides that the pre-hearing conference and the evidentiary hearing will take place at the U.S. District Courthouse for the District of Columbia “[d]ue to lack of courtroom availability.”

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ALJ Essex Sets Procedural Schedule In Certain Optoelectronic Devices (337-TA-669)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
16
On April 15, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 4 in Certain Optoelectronic Devices, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same (337-TA-669).

In the Order, ALJ Essex set the procedural schedule for the investigation.  He included a provision for the early exchange of claim construction terms and proposed constructions, and scheduled the evidentiary hearing to begin on October 19, 2009.

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ALJ Essex Issues Order Regarding Witness Statements And Admissibility Of Expert Reports In Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems (337-TA-657)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
16
On April 15, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 16 in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (337-TA-657). 

In the Order, ALJ Essex determined that “the use of witness statements in lieu of live testimony for direct examination by all of the parties would be the most efficient use of the allotted hearing time.”  ALJ Essex thus ordered the parties to “submit witness statements in lieu of live direct testimony, except for those third party witnesses who object to providing written testimony.”  With respect to expert reports, ALJ Essex determined that “expert reports will not be admitted into evidence, but exhibits and attachments to the expert reports may be received into evidence if they are properly introduced at the hearing during the examination of the experts, subject to any objections and rulings.”

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination Terminating Certain Automotive Parts (337-TA-651) Based On Settlement Agreement

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
20
On April 16, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 30: Initial Determination Terminating Investigation On The Basis Of Settlement Agreement in Certain Automotive Parts (337-TA-651).

According to the Order, on April 3, 2009, complainant Ford Global Technologies, LLC (“Ford”) and respondents LKQ Corporation, Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc., Jui Li Enterprise Co., Y.C.C. Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd., TYC Brother Industrial Co. Ltd., Taiwan Kai Yih Industrial Co., Ltd., and T.Y.G. Products, L.P. (“Respondents”) filed a joint motion to terminate the investigation on the basis of a settlement agreement.  The Commission Investigative Staff filed a response in support of the motion.

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ALJ Essex Issues Initial Determination in Certain Computer Products (337-TA-628)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
24
As indicated in our March 18 post, on March 16, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued his initial determination (“ID”) in the matter of Certain Computer Products, Computer Components and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-628).  On April 14, ALJ Essex issued the public version of his 172-page ID.

In the ID, ALJ Essex held that no violation of section 337 has occurred by respondents ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. and ASUS Computer International (“Respondents”) because the accused products do not infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,008,829, 5,249,741, and 5,371,852.  ALJ Essex further determined that the patents-in-suit are valid and that Complainant International Business Machines (“IBM”) satisfied the domestic industry requirement of section 337 for each of the patents-in-suit.

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ALJ Essex Grants Complainant’s Motion to Compel In Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems (337-TA-657)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
May
21
On May 20, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the public version of Order No. 22 (dated May 11, 2009) in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (337-TA-657).  In the Order, ALJ Essex granted complainant Honeywell International, Inc.’s (“Honeywell”) motion to compel respondents Alpine Electronics, Inc. and Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. (collectively “Alpine”) to produce documents relating to “Mercedes-Benz Alpine navigation products” and a witness to testify regarding such documents.

According to the Order, Honeywell asserted that documents related to the “Mercedes-Benz Alpine navigation products” were responsive to its discovery requests.  Specifically, Honeywell requested documents related to products sold for importation as part of certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles and products imported into the U.S. for testing purposes.  In opposition, Alpine argued that the documents Honeywell sought were irrelevant to the investigation because they related to “a product that has not been released commercially” and “products that Alpine never imported for the sale in the United States.”  Alpine further argued that the documents were irrelevant because Honeywell was not seeking a general exclusion order nor a remedy against downstream products or parties other than Alpine.  The Commission Investigative Staff argued that the documents Honeywell sought were subject to discovery because certain products are “imported as part of assembled Mercedes-Benz vehicles and, thus might be considered as sold for importation” and other products are sufficiently close to completion to be relevant to the investigation.

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ALJ Essex Grants Motion To Compel Production Of Source Code In Certain Automotive Multimedia Display And Navigation Systems (337-TA-657)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
May
26
On May 19, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the public version of Order No. 21 (dated May 11, 2009) in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-657).  In the Order, ALJ Essex granted complainant Honeywell International Inc.’s (“Honeywell”) motion to compel respondents Pioneer Corp. and Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. (collectively, “Pioneer”) to produce source code for their OEM products made for Honda.

According to the order, Honeywell argued that the source code was discoverable because it controls various functions within the accused products and is relevant to whether certain claim elements were met.  Pioneer argued that since the source code was for OEM products made for non-party Honda, and the products of non-parties could not be excluded by an ITC limited exclusion order under Kyocera Wireless Corp. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 545 F.3d 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2008), the source code was irrelevant.

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ALJ Essex Rules On Motions For Summary Determination Of Invalidity In Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems (337-TA-657)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jun
09
On June 3, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 25 in Certain Automotive Multimedia Display and Navigation Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-657).  In the Order, ALJ Essex denied three separate motions for summary determination of invalidity filed by certain respondents determining for each that “summary determination is not appropriate” since “every aspect of the motion[s]” was opposed by Complainant Honeywell International, Inc., and “genuine issues of material facts remain.”

In the order, ALJ Essex first denied respondents Denso Corporation, Denso International America, Inc., Alpine Electronics, Inc., Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., Pioneer Corporation, and Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.’s motion for summary determination of invalidity of claims 1-7 and 17 of U.S. Patent No. 6,308,132.

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ALJ Essex Requests Supplemental Briefing In Certain Semiconductor Chips With Minimized Chip Package Size (337-TA-630)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jun
17
On June 12, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 43 in Certain Semiconductor Chips with Minimized Chip Package Size and Products Containing Same (337-TA-630).  In the Order, ALJ Essex requested that the parties provide supplemental briefing in connection with the Commission’s recently issued opinion in Certain Semiconductor Chips with Minimized Chip Package Size and Products Containing Same (337-TA-605) (see our June 11 post for details about this opinion).

Specifically, ALJ Essex sought “the parties’ arguments on how the Commission’s Opinion in the ‘605 Investigation and its findings on Dr. Qu’s infringement analysis will affect the ALJ’s analysis in this investigation, if at all.”  ALJ Essex further noted that “[t]he parties should limit their briefing to the infringement analysis for the ‘627 and the ‘977 Patents in this investigation.”

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ALJ Essex Issues Claim Construction Order in Certain Semiconductor Chips Having Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory Controllers (337-TA-661)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jun
29
On June 22, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 12, construing the disputed terms of the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit in Certain Semiconductor Chips Having Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory Controllers and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-661).

In this investigation, Complainant Rambus, Inc. (“Rambus”) alleges that respondents NVIDIA Corp.; Asustek Computer Inc.; ASUS Computer International, Inc.; BFG Technologies, Inc.; Biostar Microtech (U.S.A.) Corp.; Biostar Microtech International Corp.; Diablotek Inc.; EVGA Corp.; G.B.T. Inc.; Giga-byte Technology Co., Ltd.; Hewlett-Packard Co.; MSI Computer Corp.; Micro-star International Co., Ltd.; Palit Multimedia Inc.; Palit Microsystems Ltd.; Pine Technology Holdings, Ltd.; and Sparkle Computer Co., Ltd. (“Respondents”) infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos., 7,177,998; 7,210,016; 6,470,405; 6,591,353; 7,287,109; 7,287,119; 7,330,952; 7,330,953; and 7,360,050.  The patents-in-suit are generally directed to memory controllers for controlling data transfers to and from dynamic random access memory in computer systems.  A Markman hearing was held on March 24, 2009.

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ITC Decides Not To Review Initial Determination In Certain Composite Wear Components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
08
On July 7, 2009, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining not to review the May 8, 2009 Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Theodore R. Essex in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).

In the ID, ALJ Essex found respondents AIAE Engineering Limited and Vega Industries (collectively, “respondents”) in default under Commission Rule 210.16(a)(2) based on respondents failure to participate in discovery.  ALJ Essex further found that respondents’ conduct in the investigation warranted adverse inferences under Commission Rule 210.17, and on that basis found respondents in violation of Section 337.

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ITC Modifies Certain Claim Constructions And Remands Investigation To ALJ Essex In Certain Refrigerators (337-TA-632)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
08
On July 8, 2009, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a Notice of its decision to modify certain claim constructions made in the final initial determination; an Order remanding the case to Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex to make findings regarding infringement, validity, and domestic industry that are consistent with the modified claim constructions; and an Opinion setting forth the modified claim constructions in Certain Refrigerators and Components Thereof(Inv. No. 337-TA-632).

The investigation was instituted on February 21, 2008, based on the complaint of Whirlpool Corp., Whirlpool Manufacturing Corp., Whirlpool Patent Corp., and Maytag Corp. (collectively “Whirlpool”).  The respondents are LG Electronics Corp., Inc., LG Electronics, USA, Inc., and LG Electronics Monterrey, Mexico S.A. de C.V. (collectively “LG”).

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