New 337 Complaints

Humanscale corporation files new 337 complaint regarding ergonomic keyboard arms

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
17
On February 10, 2009, Humanscale Corporation filed a complaint requesting that the U.S. International Trade Commission commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. The complaint alleges violations of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and/or the sale within the U.S. after importation of certain adjustable keyboard support systems and components thereof. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the “products at the heart of the proposed investigation are keyboard support systems, particularly, ergonomic computer keyboard support systems that are adjustable for minimizing an individual worker’s fatigue and improving efficiency.” Humanscale Corporation has identified the following as proposed respondents:
  • CompX International, Inc. of Dallas, Texas; and
  • CompX Waterloo of Canada.
In its complaint, Humanscale Corporation alleges that the proposed respondents infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,292,097 C1, as re-examined. Apparently, the dispute between parties started over a decade ago. According to the complaint, Humanscale (then known as Softview Computer Products) brought suit against Waterloo Furniture Components (now owned by CompX) in 1998 in the Southern District of New York for infringement of this patent. The suit was dismissed so that Humanscale could pursue reexamination. Humanscale identifies two CompX products in the complaint - the “Ovation Arm” and the “Momentum Arm.”
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Samsung files new 337 complaint against eastman kodak regarding certain digital cameras

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
19
On February 17, 2009, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea and Samsung Electronics America, Inc. filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that Eastman Kodak Company imports into the U.S. (in addition to sale for importation into the U.S. and/or sale within the U.S. after importation) digital cameras that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,731,852 and U.S. Patent No. 6,229,695.  According to the complaint, the ‘852 patent “improves on the prior art recording devices by allowing a variable-length audio file, enabling the user to create ‘sound tags’ or ‘voice memos’ that exceeded the fixed file size known in the prior art.”  Further, the complaint alleges that the ‘695 patent relates to a palm-sized camera, and more particularly to the housing encasing the device’s structure that provides “increased impact-resistance.” Thirteen different Kodak models are accused of infringement and Samsung alleges that all of these models are made outside the U.S.  Samsung based, in part, its importation allegations on a November 17, 2008 ITC Complaint filed by Kodak that stated that it does not presently manufacture its digital cameras in the U.S.  As a result of the Kodak complaint, which named Samsung as a proposed respondent, in addition to LG, the ITC instituted an investigation (337-TA-663 – Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, Components Thereof ), which is currently pending at the ITC. Samsung alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents are practiced by Samsung-branded digital camera products that are repaired, refurbished, and/or tested by Samsung in the U.S.  Samsung also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based primarily on providing customer support for such products and its “extensive licensing activities” in the U.S. relating to the asserted patents.
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LG files new 337 complaint against eastman kodak regarding certain electronic devices having image capture or display functionality

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
24
On February 20, 2009, LG Electronics, Inc. of Korea filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337 against Eastman Kodak Company. This is the latest installment between Kodak and its Korean competitors concerning patent rights.  Kodak filed a 337 complaint against LG (and Samsung) on November 17, 2008 which resulted in the ITC instituting an investigation (337-TA-663 – Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras), which is currently pending at the ITC.  Just last week, on February 17, 2009, Samsung filed a 337 complaintagainst Kodak (Certain Digital Cameras).  Now, LG has filed its own 337 complaint against Kodak. The complaint alleges that Kodak imports into the U.S. (in addition to sale for importation into the U.S. and/or sale within the U.S. after importation) electronic devices having image capture or display functionality that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,995,767, 5,774,131, and 6,281,895.  According to the complaint, the ‘767 patent discloses “a method and apparatus for automatic focus controlling of a camera,” the ‘131 patent discloses “a sound generation and display control apparatus,” and the ‘895 patent discloses “an apparatus and method for implementing an on-screen display (OSD) menu for an image display device.” Three different Kodak models are accused of infringement and LG alleges that all of these models are made outside the U.S, specifically in China.  According to the complaint, LG may accuse additional Kodak models of infringement as discovery progresses. LG alleges that it pioneered the world’s first CDMA digital mobile handsets in 1997, and its R&D related to those devices led to the technology at issue in its complaint and provide the basis for its domestic industry.  Specifically, it alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents are practiced by LG-branded wireless telephone handsets containing digital cameras that are developed and sold by LG in the U.S. LG notes that, contemporaneously with the filing of its complaint, it filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California asserting that Kodak infringes the same three patents, and that it filed suit in that same court alleging that Kodak infringes two additional patents (U.S. patent nos. 5,077,612 and 6,885,407).
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Saxon files new 337 complaint against samsung regarding certain electronic devices

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
24
On February 23, 2009, Saxon Innovations, LLC of Tyler, Texas filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd of Korea, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLP of Richardson, Texas (collectively, “Samsung”) imports into the U.S. (in addition to sale for importation into the U.S. and/or sale within the U.S. after importation) certain electronic devices including handheld, wireless communications devices that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,235,635; 5,530,597, and 5,608,873. Other than including Samsung (and allegations relating thereto), Saxon’s February 23, 2009 complaint is identical to Saxon’s December 19, 2008complaint filed against: • Nokia Corp. of Finland; • Nokia, Inc., of Irving, Texas; • Research In Motion Ltd. of Canada; • Research In Motion Corp. of Irving, Texas; • High Tech Computer Corp. of Taiwan; • HTC America, Inc., of Bellevue, Washington; • Palm, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California; • Panasonic Corporation of Japan; • AVC Networks Company of Japan; • Panasonic Corp. of North America of Secaucus, New Jersey; and • Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. of Secaucus, New Jersey. Regarding Saxon’s first complaint, on January 15, 2009, the ITC instituted Certain Electronic Devices, Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices (Inv. No. 337-TA-667) and this case is currently pending. Saxon’s second complaint appears to have been filed in direct response to ALJ Rogers’ February 18, 2009 Order denying Saxon’s motion to amend its complaint to add Samsung as respondents in the pending 337-TA-667 investigation.
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Microsoft files new 337 complaint against TomTom regarding certain portable navigation devices

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Feb
27
On February 25, 2009, Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Washington filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that TomTom N.V. of the Netherlands and TomTom, Inc. of Concord, Massachusetts (collectively, “TomTom”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain portable navigation computing devices and associated computer software that infringe certain claims of the following U.S. Patents: (1) U.S. Patent No. 6,175,789; (2) U.S. Patent No. 7,054,745; (3) U.S. Patent No. 5,579,517; (4) U.S. Patent No. 5,758,352; and (5) U.S. Patent No. 6,256,642. According to the complaint, the ‘789 patent relates to “a vehicle computer system with an open computing platform capable of integrating and controlling various electronic components in the vehicle.”  The complaint further alleges that the ‘745 patent relates to “methods for generating clear and concise driving directions for use by, for example, navigation systems.”  The complaint also alleges that the ‘517 and ‘352 patents relate to “systems and methods for implementing both long and short file names in the same file system.”  Finally, the complaint alleges that the ‘642 patent relates to “techniques for managing flash memory, including allocating and deallocating blocks of flash memory.” In Microsoft’s complaint, at least thirteen different models of TomTom’s popular portable navigation computing devices and accompanying software are accused of infringement.  Microsoft also alleges “[o]n information and belief” that the accused TomTom products are made for TomTom in China by a third party vendor. Microsoft alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents are practiced by Microsoft as follows: (1) the ‘789 patent is practiced by Microsoft Auto; (2) the ‘745 patent is practiced by MapPoint 2009; (3) the ‘517 and ‘352 patents are practiced by Windows Vista and XP, respectively; and (4) the ‘642 patent is practiced by Windows CE. Microsoft also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through the research and development of the Microsoft products noted above.
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Professor Gertrude Rothschild files new 337 complaint regarding certain light emitting diode chips

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
04

 

On February 27, 2009, Professor Gertrude Rothschild of Columbia University in New York filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337.

 

The complaint alleges that the following companies unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain light emitting diode (LED) chips, laser diode chips and products containing those devices that infringe claims 10, 12, 13, and 16 of U.S. Patent No. 5,252,499:

 

•      Chi Mei Lighting Technology Corp. of Taiwan; •      Tekcore Co., Ltd. of Taiwan; •      Toyolite Technologies Corp. of Taiwan; •      Tyntek Corporation of Taiwan; •      Visual Photonics Epitaxy Co., Ltd. of Taiwan; and •      Xiamen Sanan Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd. of China.

 

According to the complaint, the ‘499 patent “concerns methods for doping wide band-gap semiconductor material in order to produce a low resistivity semiconductor.”  The complaint further asserts that the ‘499 patent is the subject of a number of licenses, pending litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and a pending investigation before the ITC (Certain Short-Wavelength Light Emitting Diodes, Laser Diodes and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-640)).  The complaint also alleges that none of the defendants in the district court actions or respondents in the pending ITC investigation are named as a proposed respondent in the instant matter.

 

Interestingly, Professor Rothschild’s complaint includes no assertion regarding satisfaction of the technical prong of the ITC’s domestic industry requirement.  In fact, the complaint asserts “Professor Rothschild does not need to make the additional showing that the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement has been satisfied because she can rely on her substantial investment in enforcement and licensing of the ‘499 patent to satisfy the requirements of the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.”

 

Regarding the economic prong, the complaint alleges that “[a] domestic industry exists as a result of Professor Rothschild’s substantial investment in the exploitation of the ‘499 patent through enforcement and licensing.”  Specifically, the complaint alleges that Professor Rothschild “has vigorously enforced her rights with regard to the ‘499 patent as a part of her licensing efforts” and such efforts have resulted in license grants under the ‘499 patent to several companies, including Epistar Corporation, Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., Nichia Chemical Industries, Ltd., and Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.

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SPH America Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Wireless Communications Devices

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Mar
27
On March 25, 2009, SPH America, LLC of Vienna, Virginia filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that Kyocera Corp. of Japan;  Kyocera Wireless Corp. of San Diego, California;  Kyocera Sanyo Telecom, Inc. of Woodland Hills, California;  MetroPCS Communications, Inc. of Richardson, Texas;  MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. of Dallas, Texas;  and Sprint Nextel Corporation of Overland Park, Kansas unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain wireless communications devices and components thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. RE 40,385 and U.S. Patent No. 5,960,029. According to the complaint, the ‘385 and ‘029 patents relate to signal processing in a wireless telecommunication system.  Specifically, the ‘385 patent “provides a novel and inventive signal processing technique that decreases power consumption or maintains it at a lower level,” and the ‘029 patent “provides a novel and inventive QPSK [quadrature phase-shift keying] modulation/demodulation technique that reduces signal interference, minimizes errors, and improves receiving performance.” SPH America alleges that certain wireless communication devices manufactured by Kyocera and Sanyo (by way of representative examples, the Kyocera Tempo E2000 and the Sanyo Katana Eclipse X) infringe various claims of the ‘385 and ‘029 patents.  The ‘385 patent contains a total of 287 claims, 243 of which are allegedly infringed by the named respondents, while the ‘029 patent contains 26 claims, 10 of which are allegedly infringed.  According to the complaint, the accused Kyocera devices are manufactured in China and the accused Sanyo devices are manufactured in Malaysia.  SPH America also alleges that MetroPCS sells the Kyocera devices within the U.S. and that Sprint sells the Sanyo devices within the U.S. SPH America alleges that it satisfies the domestic industry requirement through its licensing of the ‘385 and ‘029 patents to a sublicensee.  According to the complaint, the sublicensee manufactures products covered by the asserted patents and conducts significant domestic activities in the U.S. relating to these products, including significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital in the U.S., and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through research and development, engineering and design activities, and domestic licensing activities.
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Lutron Electronics Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Lighting Control Devices

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
09
On April 7, 2009, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that Universal Smart Electric Corp. (“USE”) of Irvine, California unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain lighting control devices, including dimmer switches and/or switches and parts thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,637,930 (‘930 patent), 5,248,919 (‘919 patent), and U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 3,061,804 (‘804 trademark). According to the complaint, the ‘930 and ‘919 patents relate to lighting dimmer switches.  In particular, the ‘930 patent “provided for, among other things, the switching control [in a dimmer switch] to be sized and arranged relative to the dimming control so that the switching function is emphasized over the dimming function from the perspective of the user,” the ‘919 patent is described as “a dimmer switch with dual fade-rate capability,” and the ‘804 trademark is described as being “comprised of the configuration of a press and tap light dimmer with a clean face plate (in phantom), dimming rocker and LED light level indicators.” Lutron Electronics alleges that certain USE dimmer switches (by way of representative examples, the dimmers sold under the brand name Enerlites and the USE-58100) sold for importation, imported, and/or sold after importation into the U.S. infringe various claims of the ‘930 and ‘919 patents and have a “configuration identical or substantially identical to, and confusingly similar to” the ‘804 trademark.  According to the complaint, the accused USE dimmer switches are manufactured in China.  Lutron Electronics alleges that it purchased USE accused devices and parts thereof through Capital Wholesale Lighting & Electric Supply, Inc. of Culver City, California, and received a quotation for other USE dimmers through a sales representative of USE located in Irvine, California. The complaint identifies two previous district court actions and a prior ITC investigation (Inv. No. 337-TA-599) in which the ‘930 and ‘919 patents, in addition to other patents, were asserted by Lutron Electronics against other parties.  The complaint states that each of earlier cases have been terminated based on settlements. Lutron Electronics alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents and trademark are practiced by dimmer switches sold by Lutron Electronics.  Lutron Electronics also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on “significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through engineering, and research and development.”
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Blackboard Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Course Management System Software Products

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
22
On April 20, 2009, Blackboard Inc. of Washington, D.C. filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that Desire2Learn Incorporated of Canada unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain course management system software products that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. According to the complaint, the ‘138 patent is entitled “Internet Education Support Systems and Methods” and is directed to a “system and methods for implementing education online by providing institutions with the means for allowing the creation of courses to be taken by students online.” Blackboard alleges that Desire2Learn is involved in the development, marketing, and sale of CMS software (which it markets as Desire2Learn Learning Environment products, ePortfolio, Learning Repository, Live Room, Essentials, 2Go, and Competencies products) and services to support use of its products, including implementation, training, content, and help desk services.  According to the complaint, Desire2Learn markets and sells its products in the U.S. and imports its products in the U.S.  Specifically, Blackboard alleges that “[u]nlawful importation occurs both in cases where Desire2Learn’s customers run the Learning Environment software on their own servers and in cases where Desire2Learn runs the software for the customers on Desire2Learn’s own servers in Canada.”  Blackboard further alleges that Desire2Learn’s customers include, among others, the Ohio State University, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Arizona. The complaint identifies two litigations in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas between Blackboard and Desire2Learn: (1) Desire2Learn was found to infringe claims 36-38 of the ‘138 patent and became subject to a permanent injunction – according to the complaint this matter is currently on appeal at the Federal Circuit; and (2) Blackboard recently filed suit against Desire2Learn for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,493,396 (a continuation of the ‘138 patent).  The complaint also alleges that the ‘138 patent is the subject of both inter partes and ex parte reexaminations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Blackboard alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because its course management system software (Blackboard Learn) is covered by claim 36 of the ‘138 patent.  Blackboard also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on significant U.S. investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor and capital in the U.S., and substantial investment in the exploitation of the ‘138 patent, including engineering and research and development. Regarding potential remedy, Blackboard requests the Commission to issue limited and general exclusion orders, as well as a cease and desist order relating to Desire2Learn’s course management system products and services.
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Red Bull Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Energy Drink Products

By Eric Schweibenz
|
May
18
On May 15, 2009, Red Bull GmbH of Austria and Red Bull North America, Inc. of Santa Monica, California (collectively, “Red Bull”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. According to the complaint, the following proposed respondents unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell and distribute within the U.S after importation gray market energy drink products which are materially different from Red Bull’s energy drink:
  • Chicago Import Inc. of Chicago, Illinois;
  • Lamont Dist., Inc. a/k/a Lamont Distributors Inc. of Brooklyn, New York;
  • India Imports, Inc., a/k/a International Wholesale Club of Metairie, Louisiana;
  • Washington Food and Supply of D.C., Inc. a/k/a Washington Cash & Carry;
  • Vending Plus, Inc. of Glen Burnie, Maryland; and
  • Baltimore Beverage Co. of Glen Burnie, Maryland.
Red Bull asserts that these proposed respondents have violated Section 337 by infringing Red Bull U.S. Trademark Reg. Nos. 3,092,197; 2,946,045; 2,994,429; and 3,479,607, as well as Red Bull Copyright Reg. No. VA0001410959.  Specifically, Red Bull alleges in the complaint that the proposed respondents’ gray market energy drink products may have “different languages on the cans, omitted or different nutritional information and other unfamiliar wording on the cans, shoddy and inferior overlabeling on the cans, different local distributor contact information (e.g., a Dubai address rather than the U.S. California address), and a different overall image than U.S. Red Bull Energy Drink products.”  Red Bull also charges that those handling the proposed respondents’ gray market energy drink products outside of the authorized distribution channels are not subject to quality control standards required for Red Bull energy drink products.  Moreover, according to the complaint, the distribution of the proposed respondents’ energy drink products “causes or is likely to cause purchaser or consumer confusion, mistake, and/or deception to the detriment of Red Bull, as well as to the detriment of consumers and purchasers in the United States.” Red Bull claims that its success in the U.S. is related to the “adoption of distinctive and eye-catching trademarks and trade dress for the U.S. Red Bull Energy Drink products, which are prominently featured in Red Bull’s marketing, advertising, and promotional activities.”  Specifically, Red Bull asserts in its complaint that it has expended over two billion dollars on advertising, marketing, and promoting its products and its intellectual property in the U.S., including promoting sports, cultural and other programs.  Moreover, in 2008, Red Bull sold over 1.3 billion units of its energy drink in the U.S. Red Bull alleges that it satisfies the domestic industry requirement based on its significant investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of labor, and significant investment in the research and exploitation of the asserted Red Bull trademarks and copyright. Regarding potential remedy, Red Bull seeks a general exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders against the gray market Red Bull energy drinks.
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Unemed Corporation Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Products Advertised As Containing Creatine Ethyl Ester

By Eric Schweibenz
|
May
20
On May 20, 2009, UNeMed Corporation (“UNeMed”) of Omaha, Nebraska filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents unlawfully import into the U.S. and sell within the U.S. after importation certain products falsely advertised as containing creatine ethyl ester:
  • Bodyonics, Ltd. of Hicksville, New York;
  • Engineered Sports Technology, Inc. of Oviedo, Florida;
  • Proviant Technologies, Inc. of Champaign, Illinois;
  • Controlled Labs of New Rochelle, New York;
  • NRG-X Labs. of Bentonville, Arkansas; and
  • San Corporation of Oxnard, California.
According to the complaint, UNeMed is the technology transfer entity of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (“UNMC”), and the exclusive licensee of patents filed and issued to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of UNMC employees.  UNeMed’s portfolio includes U.S. Patent No. 6,897,334 and other U.S. patent applications (“UNMC IP”) relating to creatine ethyl ester used as a nutritional supplement and an anti-inflammatory. UNeMed alleges that Vireo Systems, Inc. (“Vireo”) is a sublicensee to the UNMC IP and is the sole U.S. manufacturer of raw creatine ethyl ester.  According to the complaint, the raw materials contained in all other products advertised as containing creatine ethyl ester are manufactured outside of the U.S., primarily in China. UNeMed further asserts that since none of the proposed respondents purchase raw creatine ethyl ester from Vireo, “they are purchasing products advertised as creatine ethyl ester from manufacturers overseas for formulation into finished nutritional supplements advertised as containing creatine ethyl ester.”  UNeMed claims to have tested the proposed respondents’ products to confirm that such products contain no creatine ethyl ester and thus, the “sales of these falsely-advertised products is a violation of section 43(a) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. §1125(a)), and the Nebraska Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, R.R.S. Neb. §87-302 (2008).” Regarding domestic industry, UNeMed asserts in its complaint that it “currently offers an extensive portfolio of over 100 technologies available for licensing, and negotiates approximately 250 technology contracts per year.”  Also, UNeMed alleges to have “invested $199,121.56 in the [UNMC IP], including patent prosecution costs and maintenance fees.”  UNeMed also points to its employment of 12 full-time employees devoted to the licensing of its technology on behalf of UNMC. UNeMed alleges that the proposed respondents’ sales of falsely-advertised products have “taken market share away from UNeMed’s licensee, Vireo, thereby reducing the royalties paid by Vireo to UNeMed for sales of raw creatine ethyl ester.”  Additionally, UNeMed asserts that Vireo is unable to compete on a cost basis with companies that sell cheaper, falsely advertised products that contain no creatine ethyl ester. With respect to remedy, UNeMed seeks orders “a) excluding from entry into the customs territory of the United States raw material purporting to be creatine ethyl ester, but which contains no creatine ethyl ester; and b) mandating the cessation of sales and distribution by the [proposed] respondents of products formulated with imported raw materials falsely advertised as containing creatine ethyl ester.”
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Cognex Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Machine Vision Software And Systems

By Eric Schweibenz
|
May
29
On May 28, 2009, Cognex Corp. of Natick, Massachusetts and Cognex Technology & Investment Corp. of Mountain View, California (collectively “Cognex”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, or sell within the U.S. after importation certain machine vision software, machine vision systems, and products containing same that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,016,539 (the “‘539 Patent”); 7,065,262 (the “‘262 Patent”); and 6,959,112 (the “‘112 Patent”):
  • MVTec Software GmbH of Germany;
  • MVTec LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts;
  • E. Zoller GmbH & Co. KG of Germany;
  • Zoller Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan;
  • Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd. of Japan;
  • Fuji America Corp. of Vernon Hills, Illinois;
  • Omron Corp. of Japan;
  • Resolution Technology, Inc. of Dublin, Ohio;
  • Subtechnique, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia; and
  • Visics Corp. of Wellesley, Massachusetts.
According to the complaint, all of the patents-in-suit relate generally to machine vision systems which typically include “sophisticated image analysis software and high-speed, suitable computers or processors (vision processor boards) which, when connected to a camera, interpret the captured images and generate information about them.”  Specifically, “the ‘539 Patent and the ‘262 Patent relate to identifying an object and determining the object’s ‘pose’ in the image using so-called geometric matching.”  Further, the “‘112 Patent relates to a method for determining the presence of an object of interest in an image when a portion of the object falls outside the boundary of the image, as sometimes occurs.” In the complaint, Cognex alleges that proposed respondent MVTec’s "HALCON" machine vision software and systems infringe the asserted patents.  Cognex further alleges that machine vision systems and products made abroad by equipment manufacturers, such as Zoller GmbH, Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd, and Omron Corp. incorporate the infringing MVTec machine vision software and/or machine vision systems, and are then imported, sold for importation, and/or sold after importation to U.S. customers.  Cognex also alleges that MVTec sells for importation and/or sells after importation its machine vision software and systems to U.S. entities such as Resolution Technology, Inc., Subtechnique, Inc, or Visics Corp. that incorporate such software and systems into U.S. manufacturing equipment. Cognex alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the inventions claimed in the asserted patents are practiced by modular machine vision systems designed and developed by Cognex’s Modular Vision Systems Division.  Cognex also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on “significant manufacturing-related and integration operations in the United States involving the asserted patents” as well as “substantial investments in research, development and engineering relating to the patents-in-suit.”
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Lutron Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Light Control Devices and Dimmer Switches

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jun
25
On June 23, 2009, Lutron Electronics Co. (“Lutron”) of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that Neptun Light, Inc. (“Neptun”) of Lake Bluff, Illinois unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, or sells within the U.S. after importation certain lighting control devices and parts thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,637,930 (“the ‘930 patent”). According to the complaint, the ‘930 patent relates generally to a dimmer switch “that provided for, among other things, the switching control to be sized and arranged relative to the dimming control so that the switching function is emphasized over the dimming function from the perspective of the user.”  In the complaint, Lutron alleges that Neptun’s dimmer switches under at least the brand name Apollo infringe the ‘930 patent. Lutron alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because the invention claimed in the ‘930 patent is practiced by the Maestro® and RadioRA® dimmer switches sold by Lutron.  Lutron also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on “significant investments in plant and equipment devoted to developing, manufacturing and testing” of lighting control devices that employ the technology covered by the ‘930 patent, “significant employment of labor and capital” involved in the domestic production of those devices, and “substantial investments in the United States in engineering and research and development related to existing and future” devices that exploit the ‘930 patent. According to the complaint, the ‘930 patent has been the subject of the following related litigations:  Investigation No. 337-TA-676 based on a complaint filed by Lutron against Universal Smart Electric Corp. (currently pending) (for more on this matter, see our April 9 and May 8 posts); Investigation No. 337-TA-599 based on a complaint filed by Lutron against Leviton Mfg. Co., Inc. (terminated based on settlement); Lutron Elec. Co., Inc. v. Leviton Mfg. Co., Inc., C. A. No. 9:07-CV-43 (E.D. Tex.) (dismissed based on settlement); and Lutron Elec. Co., Inc. v. Cooper Indus., Ltd., C. A. No. 2:03-CV-3479 (E.D. Pa.) (dismissed based on settlement).
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Einstruction Corporation Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Collaborative System Products

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
07
On July 2, 2009, eInstruction Corporation (“eInstruction”) of Denton, Texas filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that proposed respondent Qomo HiteVision, LLC (“Qomo”) of Wixom, Michigan unlawfully imports into the U.S. and sells within the U.S. after importation certain products using collaborative system technology and components thereof that infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,390,673 B2 (the “‘673 Patent”). According to the complaint, the technology at issue relates to a “collaborative input system that is particularly useful in schools” and “supports student-centered, collaborative learning where both the teacher and students can concurrently interact with and contribute to the same digital content.”  The complaint further explains that “[t]his technology creates a powerful shared learning environment for lessons and activities” where “teachers have the capability of viewing each student’s graded answer seconds after a question has been posed, which allows teachers to provide differentiated instruction as the lesson unfolds.” In the complaint, eInstruction alleges that Qomo’s QIT30 Prodigy Interactive RF Wireless Tablets are “contributorily infringing claims 1-3, 6-10, 13-18 and 21-24 of the ‘673 Patent.” eInstruction alleges that it satisfies the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement because “eInstruction’s INTERWRITE MOBI and INTERWRITE PAD are covered by the ‘673 Patent when used on a personal computer and display.”  eInstruction also alleges that it satisfies the economic prong based on “significant investment in research and development, plant and equipment in the United States” and “significant employment of labor and capital, in connection with its substantial investment in the exploitation of the ‘673 Patent, including engineering, research and development, quality assurance, product design, customer technology support relating to the subject matter of the asserted ‘673 Patent.” Regarding potential remedy, eInstruction requests the Commission to issue a general exclusion order, or, in the alternative, a limited exclusion order, as well as a cease and desist order relating to Qomo’s products using collaborative system technology and components thereof that infringe the ‘673 Patent.
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BTG International Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain MLC Flash Memory Devices

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
28
On July 27, 2009, BTG International Inc. (“BTG”) of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents (collectively, “Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain MLC flash memory chips and products containing the same, which allegedly infringe BTG’s U.S. Patent Nos. 5,394,362, 5,764,571, 5,872,735, 6,104,640, and 6,118,692:
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea
  • Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
  • Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. of San Jose, California
  • Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC of Richardson, Texas
  • Apple of Cupertino, California
  • ASUStek Computer Inc. of Taiwan
  • ASUS Computer International Inc. of Fremont, California
  • Dell of Round Rock, Texas
  • Lenovo of Hong Kong
  • Lenovo (United States) Inc. of Morrisville, North Carolina
  • PNY of Parsippany, New Jersey
  • Research in Motion, Ltd. of Canada
  • Research in Motion Corp. of Irving, Texas
  • Sony Corp. of Japan
  • Sony Electronics, Inc. of San Diego, California
  • Transcend of Taiwan
According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate to non-volatile programmable flash memory chips that are used in various consumer electronics devices.  In particular, the inventions “relate to methods and apparatuses for programming and reading Flash memory cells that store more than a single bit of information per cell.” In the complaint, BTG alleges that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively “Samsung”) import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. certain infringing flash memory chips (the “accused chips”), and that all Respondents import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. products containing the accused chips. BTG discloses in the complaint that on December 29, 2008, it filed a patent infringement suit against Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that Samsung infringes four of the five patents that are listed in the present section 337 complaint.  BTG states that the litigation is still pending and discovery has not commenced. BTG further discloses in the complaint that on July 20, 2009, it filed another patent infringement suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, this time against all of the present Respondents other than Samsung, alleging infringement of all five patents that are listed in the present section 337 complaint. Regarding potential remedy, BTG requests the Commission to issue a general exclusion order, or, in the alternative, a limited exclusion order, as well as a cease and desist order directed to all Respondents.
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Hexagon Metrology Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Articulated Coordinate Measuring Arms

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Jul
29
On July 28, 2009, Hexagon Metrology AB of Sweden and Hexagon Metrology, Inc. of North Kingstown, Rhode Island (collectively, “Hexagon”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337. The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents (collectively, “Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain articulated coordinate measuring arms and components thereof, which allegedly infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,829,148 (the ‘148 Patent):
  • Metris N.V. of Belgium
  • Metris U.S.A., Inc. of Brighton, Michigan
  • Mitutoyo Corporation of Japan
  • Mitutoyo America Corporation of Aurora, Illinois
According to the complaint, the asserted ‘148 Patent relates to coordinate measuring arms used in metrology equipment by numerous industries, including aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, defense, shipbuilding, off-highway vehicles, tube bending, furniture, machine shops, molded plastics, sheet metal, die and mold shops.  The complaint further indicates that the ‘148 Patent has been involved in two different reexamination proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and in “response to both reexamination requests, the USPTO confirmed the validity of the ‘148 Patent without any amendments to the claims.” In the complaint, Hexagon alleges that the proposed Metris and Mitutoyo respondents import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. articulated manual coordinate measuring arms and/or components thereof. According to the complaint, the ‘148 patent has been previously litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Faro Technologies (the “Faro Litigation”).  The Faro Litigation proceeded to a jury trial and the jury found the ‘148 patent valid.  The jury in the Faro Litigation, however, was hung on the infringement issues, and thus the court granted Faro’s motion for a mistrial on the infringement issues.  The Faro Litigation was subsequently settled and dismissed in March 2007.  Hexagon’s complaint further alleges that on July 15, 2009, Hexagon Metrology AB filed a lawsuit against the proposed Metris and Mitutoyo respondents in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Regarding domestic industry, Hexagon alleges in the complaint that a “domestic industry exists in connection with Hexagon’s development, manufacture, and/or sale of the Infinite 2.0 articulated coordinate measuring arm and probes in the United States under each of the three prongs of 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(3).” With respect to potential remedy, Hexagon requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, or, in the alternative, a limited exclusion order, as well as a cease and desist order directed to each proposed Respondent.
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Samsung Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Flash Memory

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Aug
03
On July 31, 2009, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”) of South Korea filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents (collectively, “Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain flash memory and products containing the same, which allegedly infringe Samsung’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,930,050 and 5,740,065:
  • Spansion Inc. of Sunnyvale, California
  • Spansion LLC of Sunnyvale, California
  • Spansion Japan Ltd. of Japan
  • Alpine Electronics, Inc. of Japan
  • Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. of Torrance, California
  • D-Link Corp. of Taiwan
  • D-Link Systems, Inc. of Fountain View, California
  • Slacker, Inc. of San Diego, California
  • Synology Inc. of Taiwan
  • Synology America Corp. of Redmond, Washington
  • Shenzhen Egreat Co., Ltd. of China
  • EGreat USA of Fairfax, California
  • Appro International, Inc. of Milpitas, California
According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate to an improved method for manufacturing semiconductor devices, including flash memory.  In particular, the inventions relate to “an improved arrangement in an etching facility for semiconductor manufacturing.” In the complaint, Samsung alleges that Spansion Inc., Spansion LLC, and Spansion Japan Ltd. (collectively “Spansion”) import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. certain infringing flash memory chips (the “accused chips”), and that all Respondents import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. products containing the accused chips. Regarding domestic industry, for the economic prong, Samsung refers to its “FAB2” facility in Austin, Texas, which Samsung claims is “as large as nine football fields” and “the single largest foreign investment in Texas.”  Further, Samsung states that it satisfies the technical prong by practicing the inventions claimed by the asserted patents at the FAB2 facility. Samsung discloses in the complaint that on November 17, 2008, Spansion filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that Samsung and others import, sell for importation, or sell after importation into the U.S. products that allegedly infringe four of Spansion’s patents.  Samsung states that the ITC instituted an investigation in response to Spansion’s complaint, which is now pending as Inv. No. 337-TA-664.  Samsung notes that the investigation was stayed on March 12, 2009, but that the ALJ issued a new procedural schedule on June 30, 2009.  See our March 13 and July 1 posts for more information. Samsung also discloses in the complaint that on November 17, 2008, Spansion filed a patent infringement suit against Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of six Spansion patents.  Samsung states that it filed counterclaims against Spansion in the district court, alleging infringement of the two patents listed in the present section 337 complaint (and three others).  The litigation was stayed on March 31, 2009, but the court recently scheduled a status conference for August 11, 2009. Regarding potential remedy, Samsung requests that the Commission issue “a permanent exclusion order,” but does not specify whether it is requesting a general or a limited exclusion order.  Additionally, Samsung requests that the Commission issue a cease and desist order directed to all Respondents.
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Lincoln Electric Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Bulk Welding Wire Containers

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Aug
07
On August 7, 2009, The Lincoln Electric Company, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio and Lincoln Global Inc. of City of Industry, California (collectively, “Lincoln”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents (collectively, “Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain bulk welding wire containers and components thereof and welding wire, which allegedly infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,260,781; 6,648,141; 6,708,864; 6,913,145; 7,309,038; 7,398,881; and 7,410,111:
  • Atlantic China Welding Consumables, Inc. of China
  • ESAB AB of Sweden
  • Hyundai Welding Co., Ltd of South Korea
  • Kiswel Co., Ltd. of South Korea
  • Sidergas SpA of Italy
According to the complaint, all of the asserted patents relate generally to welding wire and/or the containers used to store and ship bulk quantities of coiled wire. In the complaint, Lincoln alleges that proposed respondent Atlantic China Welding Consumables, Inc. manufactures bulk wire overseas and sells the wire for importation into the U.S. in bulk wire containers that infringe certain claims of the asserted ‘781 and ‘864 patents.  Lincoln further alleges that proposed respondents Hyundai Welding Co., Ltd, and Kiswel Co., Ltd. manufacture bulk wire, bulk wire containers and components overseas and sell the filled containers for importation into the U.S. that infringe certain claims of the asserted ‘781 and ‘864 patents.  Additionally, Lincoln alleges that proposed respondent ESAB AB manufactures bulk wire, bulk wire containers and components overseas and sells the filled containers for importation into the U.S. that infringe certain claims of the asserted ‘781, ‘038, and ‘864 patents.  Lastly, Lincoln alleges that proposed respondent Sidergas SpA manufactures bulk wire, bulk wire containers and components thereof and exports these products for sale in the U.S. that infringe certain claims of the asserted ‘781, ‘141, ‘864, ‘145, ‘881, and ‘111 patents. Regarding domestic industry (economic prong), Lincoln alleges in its complaint that it “has made significant investments in plant, equipment, labor and capital relating to the manufacture of bulk wire containers covered by the asserted patents.”  Lincoln also alleges that it “has made substantial investments in the exploitation of the asserted patents, including engineering and research and development activities related to the construction of its bulk wire containers.” Further, Lincoln asserts that it satisfies the domestic industry (technical prong) requirement by practicing “one or more claims of each asserted patent.” In the complaint, Lincoln alleges that “the asserted patents are being asserted in a civil action filed in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, concurrently herewith, in which each of the Proposed Respondents have been named as defendants.” Regarding potential remedy, Lincoln asks that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed to all of the proposed respondents.
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LG Electronics Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Video Displays

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Aug
13
On August 12, 2009, LG Electronics, Inc. of Seoul, South Korea (“LG”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The complaint alleges that proposed respondents Funai Electric Co., Ltd. of Japan, Funai Corp., Inc. of Rutherford, New Jersey, and P&F USA, Inc. of Alpharetta, Georgia (collectively, “Funai”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain video displays, components thereof, and products containing same which allegedly infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,790,096, 5,537,612 and 5,549,522. According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate generally to television display operation, such as power systems for certain flat-panel televisions and certain startup power sequences, as well as user services for such displays, including technologies that selectively disrupt the television when certain codes are received, or that display program guide information on the screen. In the complaint, LG alleges that Funai manufactures, assembles and/or packages and tests flat panel televisions overseas and sells flat panel televisions for importation into the U.S. that infringe certain claims of the asserted patents. Regarding domestic industry (economic prong), LG alleges in its complaint that it “conducts significant domestic industry activities,” including “investment in plant and equipment, employment of labor and capital, and substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents,” as well as “significant investment in licensing relating to one or more of the asserted patents.”  Further, LG asserts that it satisfies the domestic industry (technical prong) requirement by practicing “at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.” In the complaint, LG alleges that it contemporaneously filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas asserting that Funai infringes the patents asserted in the complaint.  LG also listed the following related litigations involving the asserted patents:
  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. Petters Group Worldwide, LLC et al., No. 5:08-cv-163, Eastern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent and ‘612 patent (currently in discovery)
  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. TTE Technology, Inc. et al., No. 5:07-cv-26, Eastern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent and ‘612 patent (settled)
  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. Hitachi, Ltd. et al., No. 5:07-cv-90, Eastern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent (settled)
  • Allus Technology Corp. v. Compaq Computer Corp., No. 4:99-cv-1342, Southern District of Texas, involving the ‘096 patent (settled prior to LG’s acquisition of the ‘096 patent)
Regarding potential remedy, LG requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed to all of the proposed respondents.
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Paice Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Hybrid Electric Vehicles

By Eric Schweibenz
|
Sep
08
Paice LLC of Bonita Springs, Florida filed a complaint on September 2, 2009 asking the ITC to investigate Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. (collectively, “Toyota”) regarding certain Toyota hybrid electric vehicles and components thereof. According to the Complaint, Paice previously filed two lawsuits against Toyota in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, asserting U.S. Patent No. 5,343,970 (the ‘970 patent), the same patent asserted in Paice’s ITC complaint.  A jury in the first lawsuit (Paice I) found the ‘970 patent was not invalid and was infringed by Toyota‘s Prius II, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h vehicles.  Paice’s complaint further alleges that Toyota received a court-imposed limited license for those vehicles. The second lawsuit (Paice II), which is still pending, accuses different Toyota vehicle models of infringement.  According to the complaint, Toyota has admitted in that case that the Camry Hybrid, Prius III, Lexus HS250h and Lexus RX450h are not materially different from the RX400h, which was found to infringe the ‘970 patent in Paice I. Paice’s ITC complaint further asserts that Toyota is collaterally estopped from contesting infringement, validity and enforceability of the ‘970 patent because those issues were “fully and finally litigated against Toyota” in Paice I.  Paice further asserts that res judicata precludes Toyota from challenging the validity and enforceability of the ‘970 patent because the parties in the ITC complaint and Paice I are identical and the accused vehicles are materially identical.  In support of its res judicata argument, Paice points to the fact that the district court in Paice II struck Toyota’s invalidity defenses, finding that res judicata barred Toyota from asserting invalidity as a defense to infringement of the ‘970 patent. Because Toyota is barred from litigating the infringement, validity and enforceability of the ‘970 patent, Paice asserts in its complaint that “[a]ll that remains for consideration in the liability determination here are domestic industry issues.”  Specifically, Paice alleges that it “has made substantial investments in the United States with respect to engineering, research and development activities relating to the ‘970 patent” and has also “made substantial investments in the United States with respect to licensing activities relating to the ‘970 patent.”  Paice further alleges that it intends to file a motion for summary determination within 30 days of service of the complaint and notice of investigation, or as soon as practical under the established schedule.
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