On November 6, 2014, the International Trade Commission ("the Commission") issued a notice determining to review-in-part the final initial determination ("ID") in Certain Silicon Microphone Packages and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-888).

By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on July 23, 2013 based on a complaint filed by Knowles Electronics, LLC ("Knowles") alleging a violation of Section 337 by Respondents GoerTek, Inc. and GoerTek Electronics, Inc. (collectively, "GoerTek") in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain silicon microphone packages and products containing the same that infringe, or that are made by a process that infringes, one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,439,616 (the '616 patent); 8,018,049 (the '049 patent); and 8,121,331 (the '331 patent) (collectively, the "asserted patents").  See our June 25, 2013 and July 24, 2013 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively. 

In the ID, ALJ Gildea found a violation of Section 337 by reason of infringement of one or more claims of the asserted patents.  See our September 4, 2014 post for more details.  The Commission determined to review the construction of the "cover" limitation with respect to the '616 and '049 patents along with related anticipation, obviousness, infringement, and technical prong analyses.  The Commission also determined to review infringement with respect to claim 8 of the '616 patent.

Accordingly, the parties were requested to brief their positions on the issues under review, particularly in response to the three questions posed by the Commission.  The first two questions were directed to claim interpretation and infringement, technical prong, and validity analysis with respect to the claim limitations "the at least one layer of conductive material in the cover," and the "conductive layer formed in the cover" found in the '049 and the '616 patents, respectively.  The third question was directed to the asserted claims of the '049 patent and how the presence of one or more layers in the cover besides the "at least one layer of conductive material" would impact validity.