Commission Notices

ITC Issues Final Determination Of No Violation In Certain Encapsulated Integrated Circuit Devices (337-TA-501)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
28
On July 20, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining not to review the findings in ALJ Charles E. Bullock’s March 22, 2010 Second Supplemental Initial Determination (“Second Supplemental ID”) and November 9, 2005 Remand Initial Determination (“Remand ID”) collectively finding no violation of Section 337 in Certain Encapsulated Integrated Circuit Devices and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-501).  As a result, the Commission determined that there has been no violation of Section 337, and terminated the investigation. By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Amkor Technology, Inc. (“Amkor”) and the Respondents are Carsem (M) Sdn Bhd, Carsem Semiconductor Sdn Bhd, and Carsem, Inc. (collectively, “Carsem”).  The Commission instituted the investigation on December 19, 2003.  On November 9, 2005, ALJ Bullock issued the Remand ID finding that (1) there was a violation of Section 337 in connection with U.S. Patent No. 6,433,277 (the ‘277 patent); and (2) there was no violation of Section 337 in connection with U.S. Patent Nos. 6,630,728 and 6,455,356. After ALJ Bullock issued the Remand ID, the investigation was delayed in connection with obtaining certain alleged prior art documents from non-party ASAT, Inc. (“ASAT”).  On July 1, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Commission’s petition to enforce subpoenas duces tecum and ad testificandum to ASAT in connection with the alleged prior art.  In response, Carsem renewed its motion to remand the investigation and reopen the record to include any new evidence obtained as a result of the enforcement of the subpoenas. The Commission issued a Remand Order on July 1, 2009, ordering that (1) the investigation be remanded to reopen the record to admit any new evidence obtained as a result of the enforcement of the subpoena duces tecum to ASAT, and (2) the ALJ revise or supplement the Remand ID as appropriate, in light of the supplemental evidence, making all necessary findings concerning Carsem’s invalidity defenses.  On October 30, 2009, ALJ Bullock issued a First Supplemental Initial Determination (“First Supplemental ID”) reaffirming his finding of a violation of Section 337 despite the new evidence obtained from ASAT.  See our November 27, 2009 post for more details. On February 18, 2010, the Commission issued an order reversing ALJ Bullock’s First Supplemental ID and remanding the investigation to the ALJ to make necessary findings on anticipation and obviousness in view of the Commission’s determination that the ASAT disclosures included additional prior art to Amkor’s asserted patents.  See our February 22, 2010 post for more details.  On March 22, 2010, ALJ Bullock issued the Second Supplemental ID finding no violation of Section 337 due to the anticipation and obviousness of various claims of the asserted patents in view of the ASAT prior art.  See our March 23, 2010 and April 9, 2010 posts for more details. According to the July 20 notice, Amkor and Carsem filed initial comments seeking review of various portions of the Second Supplemental ID, and all parties filed response comments. After examining the record of the investigation, including the Remand ID, the Second Supplemental ID, the comments, and the response comments, the Commission determined not to review the findings made in the Remand ID and Second Supplemental ID.  Accordingly, the Commission determined that there has been no violation of Section 337, and terminated the investigation.  Lastly, the notice states that “an opinion supporting the Commission’s determination will be issued.”
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ITC Issues Final Determination And Terminates Investigation In Certain Semiconductor Chips (337-TA-661)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
30
On July 26, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice finding a violation of 19 U.S.C. § 1337, and determining to issue a limited exclusion order (“LEO”), cease and desist orders (“CDO”), and terminating the Investigation in Certain Semiconductor Chips Having Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory Controllers and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-661). By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Rambus Inc. and the Respondents are 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. (collectively, “Respondents”).  On January 22, 2010, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued an Initial Determination (“ID”) finding a violation of Section 337 through the importation, sale for importation, or sale within the U.S. after importation of certain semiconductor chips having synchronous dynamic random access memory controllers and products containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,470,405, 6,591,353 and 7,287,109.  The ALJ further found no infringement of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,177,998 and 7,210,016.  See our May 4, 2010 post for more details. On March 25, 2010, the Commission issued a notice determining to review the ID in part.  See our March 26, 2010 post for more details. After requesting briefing with respect to remedy, the public interest, bonding, and licensing issues (seeour June 22, 2010 post) the Commission determined to affirm ALJ Essex’s ID. The Commission determined that the appropriate form of relief is an LEO and a CDO against Respondents NVIDIA Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., ASUS Computer International, Inc., Palit Multimedia Inc., Palit Microsystems Ltd., MSI Computer Corp., Micro-Star International, EVGA Corp., DiabloTek, Inc., Biostar Microtech Corp., and BFG Technologies, Inc.  The Commission further determined that the public interest factors did not preclude issuance of these LEO or CDO orders, and that the bond during the Presidential review period should be set at 2.65 percent of the entered value of the imported products.
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ITC Issues General Exclusion Order In Certain Energy Drink Products (337-TA-678)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Sep
16
On September 8, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice of issuance of a general exclusion order in Certain Energy Drink Products (Inv. No. 337-TA-678). By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Red Bull GmbH and Red Bull North America, Inc. (collectively, “Red Bull”).  According to the notice, the ITC “determined that the appropriate relief is a general exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of certain energy drink products that (i) infringe U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 3,092,197; 2,946,045; 2,994,429; or 3,479,607 or any marks confusingly similar thereto or that are otherwise misleading as to source, origin, or sponsorship, or (ii) bear Red Bull’s U.S. Copyright Registration No. VA0001410959 or a design confusingly similar thereto or that are otherwise misleading as to source, origin or sponsorship.” The ITC further determined that the public interest factors did not preclude issuance of the general exclusion order.
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ITC Decides To Review In Part Initial Determination In Certain Machine Vision Software (337-TA-680)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Sep
28
On September 24, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Carl C. Charneski on July 16, 2010 finding no violation of Section 337 in Certain Machine Vision Software, Machine Vision Systems, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-680). By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Cognex Corporation and Cognex Technology & Investment Corporation (collectively, “Cognex”).  The Respondents are MVTec Software GmbH and MVTec LLC, Omron Corporation, Resolution Technology, Inc., Visics Corp., Daiichi Jitsugyo Viswill Co., Ltd., and Daiichi Jitsugyo (America), Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”).  In the ID, ALJ Charneski determined that:  (1) the Respondents’ accused products do not infringe any asserted claim of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,016,539 (the ‘539 patent) and 7,065,262 (the ‘262 patent); (2) certain claims of the ‘262 patent are invalid due to anticipation under 35 U.S.C. § 102; and (3) all asserted claims of both patents are invalid for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  See our August 26, 2010 post for more details. According to the September 24 notice, the parties each filed petitions for review of the ID on August 2, 2010.  Each party filed a response to the other parties’ petitions on August 10, 2010. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID, the petitions for review, and the responses to the petitions for review, the Commission determined to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review:  (1) relating to the ’539 patent, ALJ Charneski’s construction of the claim terms “test,” “match score surface,” and “gradient direction,” all of his infringement findings except for the claim steps containing the limitations “locating local maxima” and “comparing the magnitude of each local maxima,” and his invalidity and domestic industry findings; (2) the ALJ’s finding that the ‘539 and ‘262 patents are invalid for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter; and (3) the ALJ’s findings concerning anticipation of certain claims of the ‘262 patent.  The Commission determined not to review the remainder of the ID. The notice states that the parties are requested to submit briefing limited to the following issue: “How would adopting complainants’ proposed construction for the claim terms ‘test,’ ‘match score surface,’ and ‘gradient direction’ relating to the ‘539 patent affect the ID’s infringement, domestic industry, and invalidity findings.”  Written submissions are due by October 8, 2010, with reply submissions due by October 15, 2010.
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ITC Issues Final Determination Of No Violation In Certain Bulk Welding Wire Containers (337-TA-686)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Sep
29
On September 24, 2010, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to review a portion of ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr.’s July 29, 2010 Initial Determination (“ID”) finding no violation of Section 337 in Certain Bulk Welding Wire Containers and Components Thereof and Welding Wire (Inv. No. 337-TA-686).  On review, the Commission affirmed ALJ Rogers’ finding of no violation of Section 337 and terminated the investigation. By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are The Lincoln Electric Company and Lincoln Global, Inc. (cumulatively, “Lincoln”).  The Respondents are The ESAB Group, Inc. (“ESAB”) and Sidergas SpA (“Sidergas”).   On July 29, 2010, ALJ Rogers issued the ID finding no violation of Section 337 by reason of infringement of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,708,864 (the ‘864 patent).  In particular, the ID held that claim 3 of the ‘864 patent was invalid, and that none of the asserted claims were infringed by Respondents.  See our September 20, 2010 post for more details. According to the September 24 notice, Lincoln, ESAB, and Sidergas each filed petitions for review of the ID on August 11, 2010. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID, and the submissions of the parties, the Commission affirmed ALJ Rogers’ determination that there was no infringement of the asserted claims literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.  Although the Commission determined to review the following four issues, it took no position on them: (1) the claim construction of the terms “substantially lying in a single plane” recited in independent claim 3 and “substantially in one plane” recited in independent claims 6 and 12; (2) the priority date of the asserted claims; (3) invalidity of claim 3 under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b); and (4) validity of claims 4, 6, 12, and 13 under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
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ITC Decides To Review Initial Determination In Certain Connecting Devices (337-TA-587)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Oct
11
On October 7, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to review the August 5, 2010 Remand Initial Determination (“RID”) issued by ALJ Carl C. Charneski in Certain Connecting Devices (“Quick-Clamps”) for Use with Modular Compressed Air Conditioning Units, Including Filters, Regulators, and Lubricators (“FRL’s”) That Are Part of Larger Pneumatic Systems and the FRL Units They Connect (Inv. No. 337-TA-587).  Please note that Oblon Spivak represents Respondents SMC Corporation and SMC Corporation of America (collectively, “SMC”) in this matter. By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Norgren Inc. (“Norgren”).  ALJ Charneski issued an initial determination on February 13, 2008 in which he found no violation of Section 337.  Norgren petitioned for review, and the Commission rendered a final decision on April 14, 2008 adopting the ALJ’s initial determination.  Norgren appealed the Commission’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On May 26, 2009, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in which it modified the Commission’s claim construction, reversed the Commission’s determination of non-infringement, vacated the Commission’s determination of nonobviousness, and remanded the case.  The Federal Circuit’s remand order contained instructions “to evaluate obviousness in the first instance based upon the correct construction of the claim term ‘generally rectangular ported flange’ -- i.e., a construction that does not require a flange having projections on all four sides.”  See our May 28, 2009 post for more details.  ALJ Charneski conducted a one-day evidentiary hearing on April 21, 2010.  On August 5, 2010, ALJ Charneski issued the RID determining that none of the asserted claims of the patent-in-suit were invalid as obvious.  See our August 13, 2010 and September 13, 2010 posts for more details. According to the October 7 notice, SMC and the Commission Investigative Staff each filed a petition for review of the RID. After examining the record of the investigation, including the RID and petitions for review, the Commission determined to review the RID “on the issue of obviousness” and to solicit briefing with respect to the issues on review.  Specifically, the Commission requested written submissions regarding “(a) whether the SMC old-style clamp is generally rectangular and (b) whether adding a hinge to one side of a generally rectangular clamp would have been obvious to one skilled in the art in 1993.” Additionally, the October 7 notice requests briefing on three questions of particular interest to the Commission. The parties’ briefs to the Commission are due by October 21, 2010, with reply submissions due by November 1, 2010.
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ITC Decides That ALJ Markman Rulings Should Be In The Form Of An Order Rather Than Initial Determination In Certain Mobile Telephones And Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras (337-TA-703)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Oct
20
On October 20, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining that Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern’s June 22, 2010 Initial Determination on claim construction (“ID”) should be issued in the form of an order rather than an initial determination in Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-703). By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Eastman Kodak Company and the Respondents are Research In Motion, Ltd., Research In Motion Corporation, and Apple Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”).  The Commission instituted the investigation on February 17, 2010.  On April 26, 2010, ALJ Luckern issued an order granting Respondents’ motion requesting a Markman hearing, and a Markman hearing was conducted on May 24–25, 2010.  The ALJ issued the ID construing claim terms on June 22, 2010.  See our July 21, 2010 post for more details.  On July 22, 2010, the ITC issued a notice determining to review the ID, and more particularly the legal authority for addressing the issue of claim construction as a matter for summary determination and treating the claim construction ruling as an initial determination under the Commission’s rules of practice and procedure.  See our July 27, 2010 post for more details. According to the October 20 notice, the parties each filed submissions in response to the ITC notice on August 5 and August 16, 2010. In the October 20 notice, the ITC determined that:
Commission rule 210.42 does not include claim construction in the list of issues that must be decided in the form of an initial determination.  Nor is claim construction properly the subject of a motion for summary determination under Commission rule 210.18 since claim construction, standing alone, is not an “issue” or “any part of an issue” within the meaning of that rule.  While the Commission finds that the rules are unambiguous, to the extent interpretation is required, the Commission determines in its discretion and in the interest of the expeditious conclusion of section 337 investigations that a ruling on claim construction is properly issued in the form of an order.
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ITC Modifies Initial Determination And Terminates Investigation In Certain Machine Vision Software (337-TA-680)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Nov
18
On November 16, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to modify an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Carl C. Charneski on July 16, 2010 and terminate the investigation with a finding of no violation of Section 337 in Certain Machine Vision Software, Machine Vision Systems, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-680).  The Commission also issued an opinion on November 16, 2010 supplementing the ALJ’s analysis concerning his finding that U.S. Patent Nos. 7,016,539 (the ‘539 patent) and 7,065,262 (the ‘262 patent) are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter. By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Cognex Corporation and Cognex Technology & Investment Corporation.  The Respondents are MVTec Software GmbH, MVTec LLC, Omron Corporation, Resolution Technology, Inc., Visics Corp., Daiichi Jitsugyo Viswill Co., Ltd., and Daiichi Jitsugyo (America), Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”).  In the ID, ALJ Charneski determined that:  (1) the Respondents’ accused products do not infringe any asserted claim of the ‘539 and ‘262 patents; (2) certain claims of the ‘262 patent are invalid due to anticipation under 35 U.S.C. § 102; and (3) all asserted claims of both patents are invalid for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  See our August 26, 2010 post for more details. On September 24, 2010, the Commission issued a notice determining to review the ID in part.  In the notice, the Commission determined to review:  (1) certain of ALJ Charneski’s claim construction, infringement, invalidity, and domestic industry findings with respect to the ‘539 patent; (2) the ALJ’s finding that the ‘539 and ‘262 patents are invalid for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter; and (3) the ALJ’s findings concerning anticipation of certain claims of the ‘262 patent.  The Commission requested briefing from the parties on a question relating to issue (1) under review.  See our September 28, 2010 post for more details. According to the November 16 notice, after examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and the parties’ briefing, the Commission determined to:  (1) modify-in-part the final ID and issue an opinion supplementing the ID’s analysis concerning its finding that the ‘539 and ‘262 patents fail to claim patent-eligible subject matter pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101; (2) set aside the ID’s finding that certain claims of the ‘262 patent are invalid as anticipated; and (3) affirm all other findings of the ID under review.  The Commission further determined to terminate the investigation with a finding of no violation of Section 337. In the November 16 opinion, the Commission supplemented ALJ Charneski’s analysis of the patent-eligible subject matter issue and upheld his finding that the ‘539 and ‘262 patents are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in view of Bilski v. Kappos, 130 S.Ct. 3218 (2010), Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63 (1972), and Parker v. Flook, 437 U.S. 584 (1978).  The Commission determined that “the asserted claims of both patents cover an idea without a link to any real-world undertaking” and that “the asserted claims have absolutely no tie to any particular machine and fail to claim a process, using an algorithm, that transforms a claimed article from one form to another as required for an industrial process.”  Instead, “the claims merely recite data gathering steps that, even if executable by a computer (as in Benson and Flook), fail to transform any article into a different state or thing.”  Accordingly, since the Commission found that the claims of the ‘539 and ‘262 patents do not cover more than abstract ideas and do not to satisfy the “machine-or-transformation” test approved by the Supreme Court in Bilski, the Commission affirmed ALJ Charneski’s finding, as modified, that the claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
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ITC Decides To Review In Part Initial Determination In Certain Printing And Imaging Devices (337-TA-690)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Nov
30
On November 22, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. on September 23, 2010 finding a violation of Section 337 in Certain Printing and Imaging Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-690). By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Ricoh Company, Ltd., Ricoh Americas Corporation, and Ricoh Electronics, Inc (collectively, “Ricoh”).  The Respondents are Oki Data Corporation and Oki Data Americas, Inc. (collectively, “Oki Data”).  On September 23, 2010, ALJ Rogers issued the ID determining that Oki Data had violated Section 337 in connection with the infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,863,690 (the ‘690 patent).  Additionally, ALJ Rogers determined that Oki Data had not violated Section 337 with respect to U.S. Patent Nos. 6,212,343 (the ‘343 patent), 6,209,048 (the ‘048 patent), 6,388,771 (the ‘771 patent), and 5,746,866 (the ‘866 patent).  See our September 27, 2010 post for more details. According to the November 22 notice, the parties each filed petitions for review of the ID on October 6, 2010.  Each party filed a response to the other parties’ petitions on October 14, 2010. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID, the petitions for review, and the responses to the petitions for review, the Commission determined to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review all findings and conclusions relating to whether a violation of Section 337 has occurred with respect to the ‘343 and ‘690 patents.  The Commission requested briefing on the issues under review and stated that it is particularly interested in responses to various questions relating to claim construction, infringement, validity, and domestic industry. As to the ‘048, ‘771, and ‘866 patents, the Commission determined that Oki Data did not violate Section 337 and further determined to review and take no position on various findings in the ID.  The Commission also determined to adopt various findings relating to the ‘866 and ‘771 patents set forth in ALJ Rogers’ Order No. 29 of May 24, 2010. Additionally, the Commission requested written submissions on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  The Commission further requested that Ricoh and the Commission Investigative Staff submit proposed remedial orders for the Commission’s consideration. Written submissions and proposed remedial orders are due by December 9, 2010, with reply submissions due by December 17, 2010.
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ITC Issues Limited Exclusion Order In Certain Caskets (337-TA-725)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Dec
14
On December 13, 2010, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a notice of issuance of a limited exclusion order in Certain Caskets (Inv. No. 337-TA-725). By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Batesville Services, Inc. (“Batesville”) and the Respondent is Ataudes Aguilares, S. de R.L. de C.V. (“Ataudes Aguilares”).  According to the notice, Batesville previously moved for an order to show cause why Ataudes Aguilares should not be found in default for failure to respond to the complaint and Notice of Investigation and for a finding of default upon the failure to show cause.  The ALJ issued the requested order and no response was filed.  On September 24, 2010, the ALJ issued an initial determination (“ID”) finding Ataudes Aguilares in default.  The Commission determined not to review the ID. According to the December 13 notice, the ITC “determined that the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is a limited exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of certain caskets that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, respondent Aguilares by reason of infringement of [certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,611,124, 5,727,291, 6,836,936, 6,976,294, and 7,340,810].”  The ITC further determined that the public interest factors did not preclude issuance of the limited exclusion order.
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ITC Decides Not To Review Initial Determination Finding No Violation In Certain Flash Memory Chips (337-TA-664)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Dec
24
On December 23, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining not to review an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Charles E. Bullock on October 22, 2010 in Certain Flash Memory Chips and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-664). By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Spansion, Inc. and Spansion LLP.  The Respondents are Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung International Inc., Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, Shanghai Lenovo Electronic Co. Ltd., Asustek Computer Inc., Asus Computer International Inc., Apple, Inc. (“Apple”), Transcend Information Inc., Transcend Information, Inc. (US), Transcend Information Inc. (Shanghai Factory), Kingston Technology Company, Inc., Kingston Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., Kingston Technology Far East Co., Kingston Technology Far East (Malaysia), PNY Technologies, Inc., Sony Corporation, Sony Corporation of America, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB NYA Vattentornet, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA), Inc. Beijing Se Putian Mobile Communications Co., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Verbatim Americas LLC, Verbatim Corp., Research In Motion, Ltd., and Research In Motion Corporation (collectively, “Respondents”). As explained in our October 25, 2010 post, ALJ Bullock issued the ID on October 22, 2010 determining that no violation of Section 337 had occurred by the Respondents. According to the December 23 notice, the Commission determined not to review the ID.
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ITC Issues General Exclusion Order and Terminates Investigation In Certain Inkjet Ink Supplies (337-TA-691)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Jan
11
On January 11, 2011, the International Trade Commission published a notice that it issued a general exclusion order, a cease and desist order, and terminated the Investigation in Certain Inkjet Ink Supplies and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-691). By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation was Hewlett-Packard Co. (“HP”).  Comptree Ink, InkPlusToner.com, SmartOne Services LLC, and Zhuhai Gree Magneto-Electric Co., Ltd. were terminated from the Investigation due to settlement agreements or consent orders.  The following remaining seven Respondents (collectively, “the Defaulting Respondents”) failed to answer the Complaint and were found in default: •Zhuhai National Resources & Jingjie Imaging Products Co., Ltd. of China •Mipo International Ltd. of Hong Kong •Mextec Group Inc. d/b/a Mipo America Ltd. of Miami, Florida •Shanghai Angel Printer Supplies Co. Ltd. of China •Shenzhen Print Media Co., Ltd. of China •Tatrix International of China •Ourway Image Co., Ltd. of China On August 30, 2010, ALJ Essex granted HP's motion for summary determination that a domestic industry exists and that the Defaulting Respondents violated section 337 with respect to claims 6 and 9 of U.S. Patent No. 6,089,687 (687 patent) and claims 1, 5, and 6 of U.S. Patent No. 6,264,301 (301 patent).  ALJ Essex further provided recommendations as to a remedy, should a violation ultimately be found by the Commission. After reviewing the relevant portions of the record, the Commission determined to follow the recommendations of ALJ Essex and issued a general exclusion order with respect to claims 6 and 9 of the ’687 patent and claims 1, 5, and 6 of the ’301 patent, and a cease and desist order against Mextec Group Inc. with respect to the same claims.
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ITC Temporarily Rescinds Remedial Orders In Certain Composite Wear Components (337-TA-644)

By Eric Schweibenz
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Jan
20
On January 18, 2011, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to temporarily rescind its exclusion order and cease and desist order entered on November 24, 2009 against Respondents AIA Engineering Limited and Vega Industries Ltd. (collectively “AIA”) in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-644). By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on April 25, 2008, in response to a complaint filed by Magotteaux International S/A and Magotteaux Inc. (collectively, “Magotteaux”).  The complaint alleged a violation of Section 337 by respondents Fonderie Acciaierie Rioale S.P.A. (“FAR”) and AIA based on alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. RE39,998 (the ‘998 patent).  FAR was terminated from the investigation on the basis of a settlement agreement, leaving AIA as the remaining respondent. AIA responded to the complaint, but thereafter reduced its participation in discovery.  On March 19, 2009, ALJ Essex issued Order No. 23, granting several motions to compel and ordering AIA to respond to written discovery and to produce fact and expert witnesses for deposition.  AIA failed to comply with the order and continued to refuse to participate in discovery.  On May 8, 2009, ALJ Essex issued an Initial Determination (“ID”) finding AIA in default pursuant to Commission Rules 210.16(a)(2) and 210.17.  The Commission determined not to review the ID, and indicated that, in addition to finding a violation pursuant to Commission Rule 210.17, the Commission would presume the facts alleged in the Complaint to be true with respect to AIA.  The Commission then issued a limited exclusion order, a cease and desist order, and terminated the investigation.  See our July 8, 2009, July 21, 2009, and November 30, 2009, and June 10, 2010 posts for more details. On September 3, 2010, the ‘998 patent was declared invalid by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in a declaratory judgment action filed by AIA against Magotteaux.  On September 28, 2010, Magotteaux noticed an appeal of the district court’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  On October 5, 2010, AIA filed a petition under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(k) and 19 C.F.R. § 210.76 asking the ITC to rescind its November 24, 2009 exclusion order and cease and desist order directed to AIA in light of the district court’s holding invalidating the ‘998 patent.  Magotteaux opposed the petition and requested that the ITC hold a public hearing. According to the January 18 notice, the ITC “determined to temporarily rescind its limited exclusion order and cease and desist order on November 24, 2009 against AIA pending resolution on appeal of the district court’s decision by the Federal Circuit.”  The ITC further determined that its “remedial orders will become permanently rescinded if the Federal Circuit affirms the district court’s judgment with respect to claims 12-13 and 16-21 of the ‘998 patent, i.e., the claims covered by the Commission’s remedial orders, and will be reinstated if the Federal Circuit reverses the district court’s judgment with respect to those claims.”  Lastly, the ITC denied Magotteaux’s request for a public hearing.
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ITC Issues Final Determination Of No Violation In Certain Printing And Imaging Devices (337-TA-690)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jan
27
On January 25, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to affirm-in-part and reverse-in-part ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr.’s September 23, 2010 Initial Determination (“ID”) in Certain Printing and Imaging Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-690) and to terminate the investigation with a final determination of no violation of Section 337. By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Ricoh Company, Ltd., Ricoh Americas Corporation, and Ricoh Electronics, Inc (collectively, “Ricoh”).  The Respondents are Oki Data Corporation and Oki Data Americas, Inc. (collectively, “Oki Data”).  On September 23, 2010, ALJ Rogers issued the ID determining that Oki Data had violated Section 337 in connection with the infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,863,690 (the ‘690 patent).  Additionally, ALJ Rogers determined that Oki Data had not violated Section 337 with respect to U.S. Patent Nos. 6,212,343 (the ‘343 patent), 6,209,048 (the ‘048 patent), 6,388,771 (the ‘771 patent), and 5,746,866 (the ‘866 patent).  See our September 27, 2010 post for more details. On November 22, 2010, the Commission determined to review the ID as to the ‘343 and ‘690 patents and to request additional briefing on the issues under review as well as on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  See our November 30, 2010 post for more details. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and all the written submissions, the Commission determined to affirm ALJ Rogers’s finding that Oki Data had not violated Section 337 with respect to the ‘343 patent, but to reverse the ALJ’s finding that a violation had occurred with respect to the ‘690 patent.  As to both the ‘343 and ‘690 patents, the Commission determined to reverse ALJ Rogers’s finding that Ricoh had satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.  As to the ‘343 patent, the Commission determined to modify the ALJ’s construction of “a lower edge” and to affirm, on modified grounds, his findings that (1) Oki Data does not infringe the asserted claims of the ‘343 patent and (2) Ricoh does not meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement.  As to the ‘690 patent, the Commission determined to reverse ALJ Rogers’s finding that claims 1, 5, 9, and 13 are not anticipated by the prior art.  Lastly, the Commission determined to deny an outstanding request for oral argument filed on December 23, 2010 as moot, and terminated the investigation.
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ITC Issues Notice Terminating Investigation Based on Settlement in Certain Video Displays (337-TA-687)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
07
On February 4, 2011, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to terminate the Investigation based on settlement and license agreements in Certain Video Displays, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-687).

By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation was LG Electronics, Inc. (“LG”).  LG accused Vizio, Inc. , AmTran Technology Co., Ltd., and AmTran Logistics, Inc. of importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and/or the sale within the United States after importation of certain liquid crystal display and plasma flat screen televisions that infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 5,790,096, 5,459,522, 7,154,564 (the ‘564 patent) and 5,537,612 (the ‘612 patent).  The ALJ issued a final Initial Determination finding a violation of section 337 with respect to the ‘612 patent.  See our October 5, 2010 post for more information.

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ITC Decides Not To Review Initial Determination In Certain Devices Having Elastomeric Gel (337-TA-732)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
18
On February 17, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining not to review an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern on January 28, 2011 granting Complainant Interactive Life Forms, LLC’s (“ILF”) unopposed motion to terminate the investigation in its entirety in Certain Devices Having Elastomeric Gel and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-732). According to the notice, the Commission instituted this investigation on August 4, 2010 based on ILF’s complaint and letter supplementing the complaint.  See our August 2, 2010 post for more details.  The complaint alleged violations of Section 337 based upon the importation into the U.S., sale for importation, and sale within the U.S. after importation of certain devices having elastomeric gel and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,782,818 and 5,807,360.  The complaint originally named 26 Respondents, including Polydigitech Inc. (“Polydigitech”) and Satistic, LLC (“Satistic”).  The complaint and notice of investigation were later amended to add two Respondents and correct the identification of two original Respondents.  Since institution, Satistic has been found in default and all remaining Respondents, save Polydigitech, have been terminated from the investigation based upon consent order stipulations and consent orders or based upon settlement. The notice further states that on December 29, 2010, ILF filed a motion to terminate the investigation in its entirety.  In the motion, ILF represented that it is not seeking entry of a limited exclusion order, a cease and desist order, or any other relief despite Satistic having been found in default.  ILF further represented that it had decided to withdraw its complaint against Polydigitech, the last remaining Respondent in the investigation, because its allegations against Polydigitech were based upon that firm’s distribution of products manufactured by original Respondent TENGA Co., Ltd., which has since entered into a consent order and been terminated from the investigation.  ILF also stated that neither Polydigitech nor the Commission Investigative Staff opposed the motion. On January 28, 2011, ALJ Luckern issued the ID.  According to the notice, given ILF’s decision not to seek any relief against the defaulted party, and finding no extraordinary circumstances that would preclude the Commission from terminating the investigation in its entirety based on the withdrawal of the complaint as to Polydigitech, the only remaining Respondent in the investigation, ALJ Luckern granted ILF’s unopposed motion.  No petitions for review of the ID were filed. In the notice, the Commission states that it has determined not to review the ID.  This effectively ends the 732 investigation.
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ITC Decides To Review In Part Initial Determination In Certain Ceramic Capacitors (337-TA-692)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
24
On February 23, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ E. James Gildea on December 22, 2010 finding no violation of Section 337 in Certain Ceramic Capacitors and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-692). By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Murata Electronics North America, Inc. (collectively, “Murata”).  The Respondents are Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. and Samsung Electro-Mechanics America, Inc. (collectively, “Samsung”).  In the ID, ALJ Gildea determined that Samsung had not violated Section 337 in connection with the importation into the United States, sale for importation, or sale within the United States after importation of certain multi-layer ceramic capacitors by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,243,254 (the ‘254 patent), 6,014,309 (the ‘309 patent), and 6,266,229 (the ‘229 patent).  ALJ Gildea also determined that a domestic industry exists that practices the ‘254 patent and the ‘229 patent, but not the ‘309 patent.  See our December 22, 2010 post for more details. According to the February 23 notice, Murata and the Commission Investigative Staff each filed petitions for review of the ID on January 4, 2011.  That same day, Samsung filed a contingent petition for review of the ID.  On January 12, 2011, the parties filed responses to the petitions and contingent petition for review. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID, the petitions for review, and the responses to the petitions for review, the Commission determined to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review the ID’s findings with respect to the ‘229 patent and specifically the finding that so-called Applicant Admitted Prior Art does not invalidate the asserted claims of the ‘229 patent.  The Commission determined not to review the issues raised by the petitions for review related to the ‘309 and ‘254 patents and terminated those patents from the investigation.  However, with respect to the ‘309 patent, the February 23 notice states that it is unclear whether ALJ Gildea made a specific finding that Nakano discloses a thickness ratio of 0.01 to 10, and that, to the extent that the ALJ made such a finding, the Commission reverses and does not adopt such a finding as its own. The notice states that the parties are requested to submit briefing on the issues under review and on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  The notice further states that the Commission is particularly interested in responses to the following questions:  (1) “Can characterizations of the prior art that patent applicants make in the specification constitute the ‘single allegedly anticipatory reference pursuant to Section 102?’  See ID at 139.  Even if those characterizations cannot constitute such a reference, are applicants bound by characterizations of the prior art contained in the specification?  In your response, please consider Pharmastem Therapeutics, Inc. v. Viacell, Inc., 491 F.3d 1342, 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2007) and Constant v. Advanced Micro-Devices, Inc., 848 F.2d 1560, 1570 (Fed. Cir. 1988);” (2) “Assume that patent applicants are bound by their characterizations as described above.  Have the ‘229 applicants made concessions showing that the asserted claims of the ‘229 patent are anticipated or obvious?  Please specify how the alleged applicant admissions disclose that a single prior art reference discloses each limitation of the asserted claims and/or that a combination of prior art references render the claims obvious.  Please cite only record evidence and relevant legal authority to support your position;” and (3) “Assume that the specification can constitute a single allegedly anticipatory reference pursuant to Section 102.  Please provide an analysis as to anticipation and obviousness.  Please cite only record evidence and relevant legal authority to support your position.” Written submissions are due by March 8, 2011, with reply submissions due by March 15, 2011.
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ITC Decides To Review In Part Initial Determination In Certain Multimedia Display And Navigation Devices And Systems (337-TA-694)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
28
On February 23, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Carl C. Charneski on December 16, 2010, finding no violation of Section 337 in Certain Multimedia Display And Navigation Devices And Systems (337-TA-694). By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Pioneer Corporation and Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. (collectively, “Pioneer”) and the Respondents are Garmin International, Inc. and Garmin Corp. (collectively, “Garmin”).  In the ID, ALJ Charneski determined there was no violation of Section 337.  Specifically, ALJ Charneski determined that (i) Garmin’s accused products do not infringe the asserted claims of the Patent Nos. 5,365,448 (the ‘448 patent), 5,424,951 (the ‘951 patent), and 6,122,592 (the ‘592 patent), (ii) Respondents did not show by clear and convincing evidence that any claim of the ‘592 patent is invalid due to obviousness or lack of written description, and (iii) Complainants satisfied the domestic industry requirement with respect to the asserted patents.  See our February 11, 2011 post for more details. According to the February 23 notice, Pioneer, Garmin, and the Commission Investigative Staff each filed petitions for review of the ID on January 5, 2011.   On January 9, 2011, the parties filed responses to the petitions. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and the parties’ submissions, the Commission determined to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review (1) the claim construction of the limitation “second memory means” recited in claim 1 of the ‘951 patent, (2) infringement of claims 1 and 2 of the ‘951 patent, (3) the claim construction of the limitations “extracting means” and “a calculating device” recited in claim 1 of the ‘592 patent, (4) infringement of claims 1 and 2 of the ‘592 patent, (5) validity of the ‘592 patent under the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, and (6) the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement. The notice states that the parties are requested to submit briefing on the issues under review and on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  The notice further states that the Commission is particularly interested in responses to the following questions:
1.  With respect to claim 1 of the ‘951 patent, does the claimed function of the limitation “second memory means” require “the read display pattern data” stored on the “second memory means” to be in the same data format with “said display pattern data... from said first memory mean”? Does the scope of the claimed function allow “display pattern data” stored on the “second memory means” to be derived from and to convey the same conceptual information as “display pattern data” from the “first memory means,” even though the display pattern data may be represented in different formats? Please provide support for your claim construction in the claims, the specification, the prosecution history, and any extrinsic evidence concerning how the claim would be understood by persons skilled in the art. 2.  Assume that the scope of the claimed function of the “second memory means” limitation recited in claim 1 of the ‘951 patent encompasses “display pattern data” stored on the “second memory means” that are derived from and represented in a different format than the “display pattern data” from the “first memory means,” where both “display pattern data” represent the same conceptual information. Do the accused product combinations, i.e., the product combinations identified at the top of page 3 of complainant’s petition for review, meet the “second memory means” limitation? 3.  Assuming that the accused product combinations meet all of the recited limitations of claim 1 of the ‘951 patent, do they also meet dependent claim 2’s limitation “wherein said second memory means has a plurality of memory locations to store said position coordinate data and said position display data to indicate said display pattern as a pair?” Please cite to all evidence in the record for support. 4.  With respect to the proper construction of the function of the “extracting means” limitation recited in claim 1 of the ‘592 patent, does claim 1 require that the recited “plurality of locations” be physically segregated into different categories in memory in view of the intrinsic evidence (see, e.g., ‘592 patent, Figure 27 and Col. 16). 5.  If the answer to question 4 is yes; do the accused devices meet the “extracting means” limitation of the ‘592 patent? Please cite to all evidence in the record for support. 6.  With respect to the proper construction of the corresponding structure of the “extracting means” limitation recited in claim 1 of the ‘592 patent, should the Commission modify the corresponding structure identified by the ALJ from the specification as “CPU programmed to read location data from memory and a CD-ROM drive, wherein the memory is RAM configured to store the location data as depicted in Figure 27.” Please provide support for your claim construction in the claims, the specification, the prosecution history, and any extrinsic evidence concerning how the claim would be understood by persons skilled in the art. 7.  If the answer to question 6 is yes, do the accused devices meet the “extracting means” limitation of the ‘592 patent? Please cite to all evidence in the record for support. 8.  With respect to the proper construction of the limitation “a calculating device” recited in claim 1 of the ‘592 patent, does the intrinsic evidence require that the recited term “said locations” refer to the plurality of locations of the selected category that has been extracted by the “extracting means,” rather than all locations of the selected category? 9.  If the answer to question 8 is yes, do the “Search Near” mode and the “GPS Simulator” mode of the accused device meet the limitation “a calculating device.” Please cite to all evidence in the record for support. 10.  With respect to the functionality discussed on page 124, n. 19 of the ID, please cite to all evidence of record indicating how this feature operates and how this feature does or does not meet the “a calculating device” limitation of claim 1. Please cite to all evidence in the record for support. 11.  Assuming that the specification of the ‘592 patent provides adequate support for the “extracting means” limitation of claim 1 and assuming that claim 1 is not directed to the disparaged problem in the prior art, does the specification provide adequate support for “a selector device” and “a location name display device” recited in claim 1 to satisfy the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112? 12.  With respect to the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, what is Pioneer’s investment as opposed to DVA’s investment for Pioneer’s licensing activities with the entity identified on page 148 of the ID? 13.  With respect to Pioneer’s licensing negotiation efforts with the entity identified on page 151 of the ID, what is the contribution by Pioneer’s U.S. employees? 14.  Do payments made to outside counsel by complainant prior to filing the instant investigation constitute investment in exploitation of the patent under section 337(a)(3)(C)? 15.  With respect to the table provided on pages 87-88 of complainant’s post-hearing brief and adopted by the ALJ on pages 157-158 of the ID, please identify the targeted licensee for each entry. 16.  Is Pioneer’s investment in exploitation of the asserted patents through licensing “substantial” under section 337(a)(3)(C), in light of the Commission’s holding on page 31, first paragraph, of Certain Printing and Imaging Devices and Components Thereof, 337-TA-690, Comm’n Op. (Feb. 1, 2011)?
Written submissions are due by March 9, 2011, with reply submissions due by March 18, 2011.
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ITC Decides To Review In Part Initial Determination In Certain MEMS Devices (337-TA-700)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
08
On March 7, 2011, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. on December 23, 2010 finding a violation of Section 337 in Certain MEMS Devices and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-700). By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Analog Devices, Inc. (“Analog”).  The Respondents are Knowles Electronics LLC and Mouser Electronics, Inc. (collectively, the “Respondents”).  In the ID, ALJ Rogers determined that the Respondents had violated Section 337 with respect to U.S. Patent No. 7,364,942 (the ‘942 patent) but had not violated Section 337 with respect to U.S. Patent No. 7,220,614 (the ‘614 patent).  See our February 4, 2011 post for more details. According to the March 7 notice, Analog, the Respondents, and the Commission Investigative Staff (“OUII”) each filed petitions for review of the ID on January 18, 2011.  On January 26, 2011, each party filed responses to the other parties’ petitions.  On February 4, 2011, Analog and the Respondents each filed submissions on the public interest. After examining the record of the investigation, including the ID and the parties’ filings, the Commission determined to review the ID in part.  In particular, the Commission determined to review:  (1) the ALJ’s construction of the claim term “oven” relating to both the ‘614 and ‘942 patents; (2) the ALJ’s construction of the claim term “sawing” relating to both the ‘614 and ‘942 patents; (3) the ALJ’s determination that the accused process does not infringe, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, claims 12, 15, 31-32, 34-35, and 38-39 of the ‘614 patent or claim 1 of the ‘942 patent; (4) the ALJ’s finding that U.S. Patent No. 5,597,767 (the ‘767 patent) does not incorporate by reference U.S. Patent Nos. 5,331,454 and 5,512,374 (the ‘374 patent); (5) the ALJ’s finding that claims 2-6 and 8 of the ‘942 patent are infringed by the accused process; (6) the ALJ’s findings that claims 34-35 and 38-39 of the ‘614 patent, and claims 2-6 and 8 of the ‘942 patent, are not anticipated by the ‘767 patent or the ‘374 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a); (7) the ALJ’s finding that claims 34-35 and 38-39 of the ‘614 patent are not obvious in view of the ‘767 patent and the Sakata et al. prior art reference under 35 U.S.C. § 103; and (8) the ALJ’s finding that the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement has been satisfied as to both the ‘614 and ‘942 patents.  The Commission determined not to review the remainder of the ID. The notice states that the parties are requested to submit briefing on four particular issues and on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  The four issues on which the Commission has requested briefing are:
1.  In arguing that the term “oven” should be construed as “a system that includes a heated chamber,” is it the contention of [Analog] and [OUII] that the system includes elements such as a reservoir, heaters on the reservoir, a delivery line that connects the reservoir and the deposition chamber, a vacuum line, a nitrogen line, and a device (such as a computer) for programming the temperature, gas pressure, etc. of the oven?  See [] Analog’s Contingent Petition at 25 and [OUII’s] Contingent Petition at 6. 2.  If the term “oven” as it appears in claim 1 of the ‘942 [patent] was construed broadly to encompass the entire system, would the claim cover a method in which the wafer is inserted into, and the anti-stiction compound is heated within, any portion of the system, including the elements listed in the question above, such as a heater, delivery line, or a device for programming?  In your response, please address whether the Commission should construe the disputed term in light of the context supplied by the claim, which indicates, for example, that the anti-stiction compound is heated within said oven. 3.  If the term “oven” is construed broadly, then is the claim invalid based on a failure to satisfy the written description and enablement requirements?  For example, does the specification disclose that the anti-stiction compound can be heated within a vacuum line or a device for programming? 4.  The ALJ determined that the ‘374 patent did not disclose the limitation “exposing said wafer, substantially at room temperature, to the vapor of a compound having anti-stiction properties” of claim 34 of the ‘614 patent, finding that a table found at column 5 of the ‘374 [patent] does not disclose a “process whereby the anti-stiction compound is deposited on a wafer ‘substantially at room temperature.’”  ID at 108-09.  Can the required disclosure be found in the ‘374 [patent] at cols. 4:59-5:62?
Written submissions are due by March 18, 2011, with reply submissions due by March 25, 2011.
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ITC Reverses Initial Determination And Finds No Violation In Certain Connecting Devices (337-TA-587)

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
09
On March 8, 2011, the International Trade Commission issued a notice determining to reverse ALJ Carl C. Charneski’s August 5, 2010 Remand Initial Determination (“RID”) in Certain Connecting Devices (“Quick-Clamps”) for Use with Modular Compressed Air Conditioning Units, Including Filters, Regulators, and Lubricators (“FRL’s”) That Are Part of Larger Pneumatic Systems and the FRL Units They Connect (Inv. No. 337-TA-587).  According to the notice, the ITC terminated the investigation finding that the asserted claims are invalid as obvious.  Please note that Oblon Spivak represents Respondents SMC Corporation and SMC Corporation of America in this matter. By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is Norgren Inc. (“Norgren”).  ALJ Charneski issued an initial determination on February 13, 2008 in which he found no violation of Section 337.  Norgren petitioned for review, and the Commission rendered a final decision on April 14, 2008 adopting the ALJ’s initial determination.  Norgren appealed the Commission’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On May 26, 2009, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in which it modified the Commission’s claim construction, reversed the Commission’s determination of non-infringement, vacated the Commission’s determination of nonobviousness, and remanded the case.  The Federal Circuit’s remand order contained instructions “to evaluate obviousness in the first instance based upon the correct construction of the claim term ‘generally rectangular ported flange’ -- i.e., a construction that does not require a flange having projections on all four sides.”  See our May 28, 2009 post for more details.  ALJ Charneski conducted a one-day evidentiary hearing on April 21, 2010.  On August 5, 2010, ALJ Charneski issued the RID determining that none of the asserted claims of the patent-in-suit were invalid as obvious.  See our August 13, 2010 and September 13, 2010 posts for more details.  On October 7, 2010, the Commission determined to review the RID on the issue of obviousness and requested further briefing.  See our October 11, 2010 post for more details. According to the March 8 notice, “the Commission has determined to reverse the ALJ’s finding that the asserted claims of the ‘392 patent are nonobvious, find no violation of section 337 because the claims are invalid as obvious, and terminate the investigation with a finding of no violation.”
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