Posts Tagged: "International Trade Commission"

Failure to Present Base Station Source Code at ITC Dooms INVT’s Appeal Despite New Claim Construction

On August 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in INVT SPE LLC v. International Trade Commission (ITC) affirming the ITC’s ruling that Apple and other respondents in a Section 337 investigation did not infringe upon INVT’s patent claims covering wireless communications systems and that there was no Section 337 violation. While the Federal Circuit did side with INVT’s arguments that its patent claims were drawn to device capability and not actual operation, the CAFC opinion, authored by Circuit Judge Raymond Chen, found that INVT did not produce evidence that the accused devices possessed the capability covered by the patent claims.

What to Know About Adjudicating Redesigns Before and After ITC Determinations

Investigations brought under 19 U.S.C. § 1337, commonly known as “Section 337” cases, at the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) have become a go-to enforcement option for patent owners seeking fast, injunction-type relief against infringing imports. It is well known that the ITC issues powerful remedial orders, including (1) exclusion orders, which order United States Customs and Border Protection (Customs or CBP) to exclude infringing imports imported by Respondents or, in some cases, third parties, and (2) cease-and-desist orders, which order Respondents not to import or sell infringing, imported products in the United States. Because ITC remedial orders are broadly written to cover even unadjudicated products that infringe the subject patents, and because such orders are only prospective in nature, it is critical for ITC litigants and their attorneys to understand the available procedures to adjudicate redesigned products.

Federal Circuit Denies Thales’ Request to Bar Philips from Heading to the ITC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today held in a precedential decision that Thales DIS AIS Deutschland GMBH cannot stop Philips from seeking an exclusion order at the International Trade Commission (ITC) to enjoin Thales from importing its products relating to wireless network technology into the United States.

Defending Breakthrough Innovations – Protecting University Patents at the ITC

Many universities recognize the value of their patent portfolios and the need to protect their intellectual property rights from unlicensed and unfair use. When licensing negotiations break down, universities generally seek to enforce their rights in U.S. district courts, but overlook a potentially more favorable forum: the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC is a unique patent forum with experienced judges, defined patent rules, and statutory mandates to provide a timely resolution. More importantly, the ITC was designed protect U.S. industries, including the research and development performed at universities. This is not a hypothetical exercise: one university recently utilized the ITC, blazing a path that others can follow. As explained below, more universities should follow suit.

Examining the Confounding Public Interest Statement by the FTC in a Recent ITC Investigation

On May 17, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) submitted to Lisa Barton, Secretary of the International Trade Commission (ITC), a statement they believed was relevant to the public interest considerations before the Commission in a matter involving certain UMTS and LTE cellular communication modules (337-TA-1240). The ITC in many cases will invite statements on the Public Interest, and the FTC is often invited to make a submission. It should be noted, however,  “Public Interest” in the ITC is a matter of statute, and there are four public interest factors which are statutory. Any statement in the Public Interest must address one or more of those factors. Other matters not within the statute are not public interest factors.

Opinion: Growing Misuse of Patent Protections Threatens U.S. Competitiveness and Security

The chaotic state of the world today makes it increasingly difficult for American companies to compete. Russian hostility has the democratic world on edge, U.S. inflation is at a 40-year high and hitting consumers hard, and China continues its aggressive push for economic and technological dominance.  To stay on top, the United States must out-innovate our competitors. America needs to lead the world in cutting-edge products and new technologies, and those are made possible by policies that support the innovation economy. The Ukraine crisis makes it clear that energy and cyber policy is crucial. Recently, the U.S. Trade Representative told Congress that supporting and protecting the full range of our innovators from China’s distortive practices is critical to our nation’s future.

CAFC Affirms ITC Denial of Broadcom’s Request for Ban on Renesas Products Under Section 337

On March 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed decisions by the International Trade Commission (the Commission) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the Board or PTAB) both 1) declining to ban Renesas Electronics Corporation and other companies from importing into the United States products alleged to infringe upon Broadcom Corporation’s two patents and 2) finding certain claims of Broadcom’s patents obvious. Broadcom filed a complaint at the Commission alleging a violation of 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (Section 337) based on the importation of products by Renesas and other companies that are asserted to infringe U.S. Patents 7,437,583 and 7,512,752. Broadcom’s ’583 patent is “directed to reducing power consumption in computer systems by ‘gating’ clock signals with circuit elements to turn the signals ON and OFF for downstream parts of the circuit.” The ’752 patent is “directed to a memory access unit that improves upon conventional methods of requesting data located at different addresses within a shared memory.”

Federal Circuit Upholds $6 Million ITC Civil Penalty After Subsequent Invalidation of Claims

On March 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)’s determination that the civil penalty imposed on DBN Holding, Inc. and BDN LLC did not require modification or rescission following the subsequent invalidation of the asserted claims. The ITC imposed this civil penalty against DBN for violating a consent order that prohibited unfair trade acts of infringement involving the now invalidated claims.

Talkin’ Trade: When Administrative Agencies Collide—Litigating in Parallel at the ITC and the PTAB

Over the past decade, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has emerged as a critical and much-relied-upon tool for those facing patent infringement allegations. Some say that’s exactly what Congress intended with the America Invents Act—a defendant can file a validity challenge at the PTAB and get an expedited ruling on invalidity in a forum with specialized technical expertise and before judges with relevant technical backgrounds, at a lower cost than litigating validity issues in district court. And in fact, district courts will often stay infringement actions pending PTAB review of a patent at issue in a particular case.But the district courts and the PTAB are not the only fora in which patent issues are adjudicated. The United States International Trade Commission (ITC)—an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency based in Washington, DC—has become a forum of choice for patent owners seeking fast and effective relief for patent infringement.

Apple/ Ericsson Dueling FRAND Suits Highlight Issues With Recent Proposed Changes in DOJ’s SEP Policies

On January 19, consumer tech giant Apple filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) asking the agency to institute a Section 337 investigation against Swedish telecom firm Ericsson, asserting a trio of patents related to millimeter wave technology used by electronic devices communicating on mobile 5G networks. The Section 337 complaint is the latest salvo in a legal battle that highlights the mounting tension surrounding standard-essential patents (SEPs) and where infringement litigation fits into the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) obligations that standards-setting organizations (SSOs) impose upon SEP owners.

Tips for Litigating Multiple Simultaneous Patent Infringement Investigations at the ITC

Global concern regarding climate change is forcing all industries to evaluate energy consumption and seek out ways to do more using less energy. For example, LED lighting fixtures achieve significant energy savings compared with older lighting methods. At the same time, technological advances now make it possible to communicate with and control electronic devices from anywhere at any time. Often referred to as the Internet of Things, or IoT, consumers now have the ability to control virtually any device in the home using a computer or smartphone, including lighting, appliances, and climate systems. Among the numerous benefits provided by IoT, enhanced control can reduce unnecessary use, thus conserving energy. As IoT and LED use becomes more widespread, intellectual property protecting these technologies has become increasingly valuable. This has led to a dramatic increase in litigation asserting such IP in district courts across the country as well as another popular forum for IP litigation, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

The Most (Potentially) Consequential ITC Decisions of 2021

This has been a year full of ups and downs, including at the International Trade Commisison (ITC). The ITC has stayed open for business, instituting a near-record number of investigations and holding hearings, albeit virtually. There have been a number of ITC decisions with interesting holdings, all of which have been covered well here and in other blogs. However, there have been a number of ITC-related happenings in 2021 which, though they received less coverage, may, like the proverbial butterfly, have important ramifications for years to come.

Government Must Reform the ITC to Keep Pace with Innovation and Curb Trolls

In 2001, six years before the iPhone appeared, a futurist named Ray Kurzweil wrote that humankind would cram 20,000 years of technological progress into the century that had just begun. There were skeptics, but today any of the world’s six billion smartphone subscribers can read his essay on their devices practically any time, any place they choose. As we move into an era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and 5G telecommunications that supports Kurzweil’s vision, we must make sure that our laws and federal agencies match the pace of invention and protect innovators from trolls who would game the legal system and government functions for their ill-gained profit. 

ITC and Trade Secret Cases Against Apple Over Pulse Oximetry Tech Highlight Need for Better Ways to Rein in Big Tech

In late June, medical technology firm Masimo Corporation and its consumer device subsidiary Cercacor Laboratories filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) asking the agency to institute a Section 337 investigation into several versions of the Apple Watch. Masimo’s allegations, which also include trade secret litigation ongoing in U.S. district court, follow an increasingly familiar narrative in which a Big Tech player, in this case Apple, engages in licensing negotiations with a small tech developer, only to poach employees and ideas from the smaller firm without paying the original developers.

Expanding Access to the ‘100-Day’ Program: ITC Announces Pilot Program Authorizing Interim Initial Determinations

Since the Supreme Court restricted access to permanent injunctions in eBay v. MercExchange, LLC, more and more patent owners have flocked to the International Trade Commission (ITC) to pursue a Section 337 investigation in hopes of obtaining a coveted and comparable exclusion order. These investigations address unfair practices in import trade—many of which involve allegations of patent infringement—and often lead to exclusion orders preventing infringers from importing their goods into the United States. The ITC’s statutory duty compels prompt completion of these investigations, with matters often proceeding to a full evidentiary hearing less than a year after the complaint is filed. However, with the rapid rise of disputes in the ITC, the agency is under relentless pressure to develop new approaches to facilitate efficient resolution of its investigations.