ALJ Orders

ALJ Charneski Rules On Motion To Compel In Certain Multimedia Display and Navigation Devices And Systems (337-TA-694)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
12
On April 9, 2010, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 21 denying a motion to compel filed by Respondents Garmin Corporation and Garmin International, Inc. (collectively, "Garmin") against Complainants Pioneer Corporation and Pioneer Electronics (USA) (collectively, “Pioneer”) in Certain Multimedia Display Navigation Devices and Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-694).

According to the Order, Garmin sought to compel the production of documents that included, “at a minimum, documents relating to Pioneer's navigation products that have been offered for sale or sold since 1994.”  Garmin argued “that the requested documents directly bear upon ‘potential claims of obviousness or non-obviousness under § 103’ and ‘enablement and the potential range of equivalents under § 112, ¶6.’”  Both Pioneer and the Commission Investigative Staff (“OUII”) opposed Garmin’s motion.

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ALJ Luckern Grants Motion To Terminate The Enforcement Proceeding In Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices (337-TA-631)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
13
On April 12, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 29 (dated March 5, 2010) in Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-631).

In the Order, ALJ Luckern granted a joint motion filed by Complainant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (“Samsung”) and Respondents Sharp Corporation, Sharp Electronics Corporation, and Sharp Electronics Manufacturing Company of America, Inc. (collectively, “Sharp”) to terminate the enforcement proceeding “based upon settlement and licensing agreements that was alleged to resolve all outstanding patent disputes and related actions between the parties.”  The Order further indicates that Samsung and Sharp “have negotiated two agreements that resolve the dispute between the private parties in this investigation, in other investigations (e.g., 337-TA-699 and 337-TA-702), and in certain litigation in other jurisdictions including various foreign forums in Japan, Korea, Germany, and the Netherlands.”

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ALJ Luckern Rules On Motion To Compel In Certain DC-DC Controllers (337-TA-698)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
14
On April 13, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 8 (dated March 26, 2010) in Certain DC-DC Controllers and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-698), denying Complainants Richtek Technology Corp. and Richtek USA, Inc.’s (collectively, “Richtek”) motions to compel Respondents Advanced Microdevices Corp. (“AMD”) and uPI Semiconductor Corporation (“uPI”) to provide the “specificity” under Commission rule 210.13(b) in support of their affirmative defenses regarding invalidity and to supplement their responses to certain interrogatories relating to invalidity.

According to the Order, AMD, uPI, and the Commission Investigative Staff opposed Richtek's motions.

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ALJ Rogers Issues Public Version Of Initial Determination Denying Motion For Temporary Relief In Certain Silicon Microphone Packages (337-TA-695)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
15
Further to our March 25 post, on April 6, 2010, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued the public version of the Initial Determination on Complainant’s Motion for Temporary Relief (“ID”) (dated March 24, 2010) in Certain Silicon Microphone Packages and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-695).

By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Knowles Electronics LLC (“Knowles”), and the Respondent is Analog Devices, Inc. (“ADI”).  On November 12, 2009, Knowles filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337 concerning certain ADI silicon microphone packages and products containing the same that allegedly infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,781,231 (the ‘231 patent) and U.S. Patent No. 7,242,089 (the ‘089 patent).  On the same day, Knowles also filed a motion for temporary relief seeking a temporary exclusion order and a temporary cease and desist order against ADI.  See our November 17, 2009 post for more details.  The investigation was formally instituted on December 17, 2009, and an evidentiary hearing regarding Knowles’s motion for temporary relief was held from February 17-19, 2010.

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ALJ Charneski Rules On Motion To Compel In Certain Machine Vision Software (337-TA-680)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
15
On April 14, 2010, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 54 in Certain Machine Vision Software, Machine Vision Systems, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-680).

In the Order, ALJ Charneski denied a motion filed by Respondent MVTec Software GmbH (“MVTec”) to compel production of documents concerning a former product made by Complainants Cognex Corporation and Cognex Technology & Investment Corporation (“Cognex”) known as “CNLPAS” or “CONLPAS” that MVTec believed to invalidate claims of the asserted ‘262 patent.  The ALJ considered the “three brief paragraphs” offered by MVTec in its supporting memorandum explaining why it believed it was entitled to the subject documents and determined that there was an insufficient basis upon which to order the requested discovery.

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ALJ Luckern Issues Public Version Of Initial Determination Finding Violation of Section 337 In Certain Energy Drink Products (337-TA-678)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
16
On April 12, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of his Initial Determination (dated March 30, 2010) (“ID”) in Certain Energy Drink Products (Inv. No. 337-TA-678).  In the ID, ALJ Luckern found a violation of Section 337.

By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Red Bull GmbH and Red Bull North America, Inc. (collectively, “Red Bull”). The Respondents are Avalon International General Trading, LLC (“Avalon”); Posh Nosh Imports (USA), Inc. (“Posh Nosh”); Greenwich, Inc. (“Greenwich”); Advantage Food Distributers (“Advantage Food”); Central Supply, Inc. (“Central Supply”), Chicago Import Inc. (“Chicago Import”), and Lamont Dist., Inc. (“Lamont”) (collectively, “Defaulting Respondents”).  On December 2, 2009, Red Bull moved for summary determination on the issues of domestic industry, importation and violation of Section 337.

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ALJ Rogers Rules On Motion For Sanctions In Certain Bulk Welding Wire Containers (337-TA-686)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
19
On April 16, 2010, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued the public version of Order No. 30 (dated January 8, 2010) in Certain Bulk Welding Wire Containers and Components Thereof and Welding Wire (Inv. No. 337-TA-686).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers denied former Respondent Atlantic China Welding Consumables, Inc.’s ("Atlantic") motion for sanctions against Complainants The Lincoln Electric Company and Lincoln Global, Inc. (collectively, “Lincoln”) for Lincoln's alleged failure to conduct a reasonable pre-filing investigation to confirm that the products it tested were actually manufactured by or on behalf of Atlantic.

In support of their motion, Atlantic asserted that Lincoln violated Commission Rule 210.4(c)(3) by asserting that Atlantic's products infringed the patents-in-suit because those products were not Atlantic's products.  According to the Order, Atlantic further asserted that “Lincoln's belief that the identified products were Atlantic's products was not objectively reasonable under the circumstances, and that Lincoln failed to perform an adequate pre-filing inquiry,” with respect to Lincoln’s original complaint, and also its amended complaint after being informed by Atlantic that the products in Lincoln’s original complaint were not Atlantic products.  Atlantic argued that Lincoln should have known that the products Lincoln obtained were not Atlantic products, because the “retainer rings in the alleged Atlantic containers that Lincoln examined are clearly different than the retainer rings used by Atlantic in their products,” and Lincoln should appreciate such differences given that “Lincoln has asserted a retainer ring patent against Atlantic in a district court litigation.”  Atlantic also argued that it was unreasonable for Lincoln to fail to investigate the unique ISO certificate number of the products tested by Lincoln with Atlantic’s ISO certificate number that “can be found on its website,” and “that if Lincoln had done so, it would have learned that Atlantic did not manufacture the products.”   Atlantic sought “monetary sanctions comprising: (l) the attorneys' fees and costs Atlantic has been forced to incur by the existence of this investigation; and (2) a monetary penalty in an amount that is greater than or equal to Atlantic's attorneys' fees and costs.”

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ALJ Charneski Grants Motion for Summary Determination On The Economic Prong Of The Domestic Industry Requirement in Certain Machine Vision Software (337-TA-680)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
20
On April 15, 2010 ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued the public version of Order No. 41 (dated March 31, 2010), in Certain Machine Vision Software, Machine Vision Systems, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-680).

In the Order, ALJ Charneski granted a motion filed by complainants Cognex Corporation and Cognex Technology & Investment Corporation (collectively, “Cognex”) for summary determination on the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.  Cognex argued that it satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement with regard to its PatMax and PatQuick software tools (“the asserted products”) as they relate to the asserted U.S. Patent Nos. 7,016,539 and 7,065,262 (the “patents at issue”).  According to the Order, the Respondents did not oppose the motion and the Commission Investigative Staff supported the motion.

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ALJ Charneski Sets Target Date And Procedural Schedule In Certain Personal Data And Mobile Communications Devices (337-TA-710)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
21
Further to our April 1, 2010 and April 2, 2010 posts, on April 19, 2010, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 6, setting an 18 month target date in Certain Personal Data and Mobile Communications Devices and Related Software (Inv. No. 337-TA-710).  The order noted that the parties must be provided “an opportunity to address the ten patents and over 80 claims at issue in the investigation.”  According to the Order, the initial determination shall be due on June 6, 2011, and the target date for completion of this investigation is October 6, 2011.

Additionally, on April 20, 2010, ALJ Charneski issued Order No. 7, setting the procedural schedule for the investigation, including a March 7, 2011 start date for the evidentiary hearing.

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ALJ Gildea Rules on Motions to Amend Ground Rules and Protective Order In Certain Wireless Communication System Server Software, Wireless Handheld Devices And Battery Packs (337-TA-706)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
21
On April 20, 2010, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 4, denying a joint motion for addendum to the Ground Rules, and granting a joint motion for an addendum to the Protective Order in Certain Wireless Communication System Server Software, Wireless Handheld Devices And Battery Packs (Inv. No. 337-TA-706).

According to the Order, the parties jointly moved for an addendum to the Ground Rules to permit a “clawback” provision regarding inadvertently disclosed privileged documents or materials.  In the Order, ALJ Gildea determined that he “does not incorporate ‘claw back’ procedures into the ground rules or protective order of an investigation” because the “Federal Circuit has held en banc that ‘[t]he attorney-client privilege evaporates upon any voluntary disclosure of confidential information to a third party’ and that it ‘is irrelevant whether the [disclosure] was inadvertent.’”

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ALJ Gildea Issues Initial Determination In Certain Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp ("CCFL") Inverter Circuits (337-TA-666)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
22
On April 19, 2010, ALJ E. James Gildea issued a notice regarding the Initial Determination and Recommended Determination on Remedy and Bond (“ID”) in Certain Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (“CCFL”) Inverter Circuits and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-666).

The Complainants in this investigation are O2 Micro International Ltd. and O2 Micro Inc.  The Respondents are Monolithic Power Systems Inc., Microsemi Corporation, ASUSTek Computer Inc. and ASUS Computer International America (collectively, the “Respondents”).

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ALJ Luckern Rules On Motion To Compel In Certain DC-DC Controllers (337-TA-698)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
22
On April 19, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 16 (dated April 5, 2010) in Certain DC-DC Controllers and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-698), denying Complainants Richtek Technology Corp. and Richtek USA, Inc.’s (collectively, “Richtek”) motion to compel Respondent uPI Semiconductor Corporation (“uPI”) to search and produce the personal home computer and/or electronic storage devices of certain uPI employees (former Richtek employees) alleged to have misappropriated Richtek trade secret computer files for uPI.

The Commission Investigative Staff and uPI opposed Richtek’s motion.

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ALJ Gildea Sets Target Date In Certain Digital Set-Top Boxes (337-TA-712)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
22
On April 21, 2010, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 2:  Notice of Ground Rules and Setting Target Date and Date for Submission of Proposed Procedural Schedule in Certain Digital Set-Top Boxes and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-712).

In the Order, ALJ Gildea set August 22, 2011 as the target date for completion of the investigation (which is 16 months after institution of the investigation).  Also, any final initial determination is due to be issued in the investigation no later than April 22, 2011.

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ALJ Rogers Rules On Motions To Preclude Complainants From Relying On Certain Evidence In Certain Printing And Imaging Devices (337-TA-690)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
26
On April 16, 2010, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued the public version of Order No. 20 (dated March 31, 2010) in Certain Printing and Imaging Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-690) granting-in-part Respondents Oki Data Corporation and Oki Data Americas, Inc.’s (collectively “Oki Data”) motions to preclude Complainants Ricoh Company, Ltd., Ricoh Americas Corporation, and Ricoh Electronics, Inc. (collectively, “Ricoh”) from relying on certain evidence related to earlier invention dates and evidence of licensing in support of a domestic industry (Motion No. 690-009) and contentions about conception and reduction to practice (Motion No. 690-010).

Oki Data’s Motion No. 690-009 addressed two separate issues of invention dates and licensing issues.

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ALJ Rogers Denies Motion For Summary Determination of Invalidity In Certain Printing And Imaging Devices (337-TA-690)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
26
On April 22, 2010, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 25 in Certain Printing and Imaging Devices and Component Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-690) denying Respondents Oki Data Corporation and Oki Data Americas, Inc.’s (collectively “Oki Data”) motion for summary determination of invalidity of claims 18-21 of U.S. Patent No. 6,212,343 (the ‘343 patent).

In the motion, Oki Data asserted that claims 18-21 of the ‘343 patent are invalid because they are indefinite.  Specifically, Oki Data argued that the specification fails to shed light on the meaning of the claim language “configured to have a length that enables the narrow-width part to be bent in a direction orthogonal to a longitudinal direction of the developing roller between the sides seals arranged at sides of the toner exit” because the parties’ experts do not dispute that there are an infinite number of potential “longitudinal direction[s] of the developing roller.”  The OUII supported Oki Data’s motion.  Complainants Ricoh Company, Ltd., Ricoh Americas Corporation, and Ricoh Electronics, Inc. (collectively “Ricoh”) opposed the motion, arguing that: (1) it is irrelevant whether the location of the “longitudinal direction of the developing roller” could be any of an infinite number of locations because as long as the narrow-width part of the blade can be “bent in a direction orthogonal to” any of the allegedly infinitely-located longitudinal directions, then the claim limitation is met; (2) one of ordinary skill in the art would have no trouble identifying a “longitudinal direction” of the developing roller as the direction along the length-wise part of the roller; (3) Oki Data disproves its argument by admitting in its motion that “[t]he longitudinal direction of a cylinder is any chord, or line, drawn between the two ends of a cylinder and parallel to the axis or one side of the cylinder;” and (4) the claim language states “a direction orthogonal,” with “a” signifying “one or more,” the plain meaning of which is a direction along a line running perpendicular or radial to a line running parallel to the central length-wise axis of the developing roller.

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ALJ Rogers Sets Procedural Schedule In Certain Inkjet Ink Cartridges With Printheads (337-TA-711)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
26
On April 22, 2010, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 5: Setting Procedural Schedule in Certain Inkjet Ink Cartridges With Printheads and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-711).

In the Order, ALJ Rogers sets the procedural schedule for the investigation and includes provisions for the early exchange of claim construction terms and proposed constructions.  The procedural schedule also indicates that the evidentiary hearing in this investigation will commence on November 30, 2010.

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ALJ Gildea Issues Order Regarding Contacts With Agency Staff In Certain Ceramic Capacitors (337-TA-692)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
27
On April 20, 2010, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 19 in Certain Ceramic Capacitors and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-692) providing guidance regarding the appropriate contact for the parties if they should have questions or concerns over the status of a pending motion or order.

According to the Order, on April 13, 2010, ALJ Gildea sent a message to the parties through his Attorney Advisor regarding their multiple contacts with his Attorney Advisor, Secretary, and Docket Manager over the status of a pending motion relating to depositions of Complainants' employees.  The message stated:  “While the parties have the right, and are welcome, to notify me, through my Attorney Advisor, that certain matters are of pressing importance or urgency, once is enough to register the point…. With that in mind, the parties are requested to direct all future inquiries or concerns to my Attorney Advisor only.”  Due to continuing contacts with the Docket Manager, and other staff in Docket Services relating to the status and details of orders relating to this case, the Order reinforced ALJ Gildea’s earlier instruction “to direct all future inquiries or concerns relating to this Investigation to my Attorney Advisor only,” and that “[t]he parties should note that inquiries should be made one time, by email or phone.”

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ALJ Gildea Rules On Motion To Reconsider Order Setting Markman Hearing and Revised Procedural Schedule In Certain Electronic Devices (337-TA-701)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
27
On April 26, 2010, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 8:  Denying Complainants’ Motion to Reconsider Order Setting Markman Hearing and Revised Procedural Schedule in Certain Electronic Devices, Including Mobile Phones, Portable Music Players, And Computers (Inv. No. 337-TA-701).

By way of background, Complainants Nokia Corporation and Nokia Inc. (collectively, "Nokia") asserted over fifty claims of seven patents against Respondent Apple Inc. (“Apple”) in this Investigation.  ALJ Gildea decided that “an early Markman hearing would assist in streamlining the issues for the evidentiary hearing and final initial determination in this Investigation.” And “[t]o accommodate the parties' concerns about scheduling, the target date and schedule were extended by two months.”  See our April 8, 2010 post for more details.

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ALJ Bullock Sets Target Date In Certain Stringed Musical Instruments (337-TA-708)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
28
On April 26, 2010, ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued Order No. 4:  Notice of Target Date and Order Extending Date for Submission of Discovery Statements in Certain Stringed Musical Instruments and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-708).

According to the Order, ALJ Bullock set August 2, 2011 as the target date (which is 16 months after institution of the investigation).  In addition, the Order directs the parties to submit a discovery statement on or before May 7, 2010.

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ALJ Luckern Sets Procedural Schedule For Markman Hearing In Certain Mobile Telephones And Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras (337-TA-703)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Apr
28
On April 26, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 11 (dated April 19, 2010):  Setting Procedural Schedule for Markman Hearing in Certain Mobile Telephones And Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-703).

The Order addressed a motion filed on April 12, 2010, by Respondents Apple Inc., Research In Motion, Ltd., and Research In Motion Corp. (collectively, “Respondents”) requesting a Markman hearing “based on the filing, under Commission rule 210.18, of simultaneous motions for summary determination on proposed claim constructions.”  Respondents’ motions were filed pursuant to Order No. 5, which determined that any request for a Markman hearing be made by motion.  See our April 5, 2010 post for more details.

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