On April 10, 2017, PopSockets LLC of Boulder, Colorado (“PopSockets”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain collapsible sockets for mobile electronic devices and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,560,031 (the ’031 patent):

  • Agomax Group Ltd. of Hong Kong
  • Guangzhou Xi Xun Electronics Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Chuanghui Industry Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen VVI Electronic Limited of China
  • Shenzhen Yright Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Hangzhou Hangkai Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Kinsen Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Enruize Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Showerstar Industrial Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Lamye Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Jiangmen Besnovo Electronics Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Belking Electronic Co., ltd. of China
  • Yiwu Wentou Import & Export Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen CEX Electronic Co., Ltd. of China

According to the complaint, the ’031 patent relates to a collapsible socket for attaching to a portable media player or to a portable media player case.

In the complaint, PopSockets states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the ’031 patent. The complaint specifically refers to various representative samples of accused products associated with the Proposed Respondents.

Regarding domestic industry, PopSockets states that it designs, develops, assembles, sells, and supports products that practice the ’031 patent in the U.S. PopSockets specifically refers to a facility in Colorado where it employs approximately 70 individuals. PopSockets also cites its website (popsockets.com) in support of its domestic industry allegations.

With respect to potential remedy, PopSockets requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents. PopSockets states that a general exclusion order is warranted because there are “innumerable entities with thousands of infringing products” entering the U.S. and it is difficult—and in many cases impossible—to identify the source of the allegedly infringing products. PopSockets further states that manufacturers and sellers of allegedly infringing products appear to employ complex business arrangements, do business under more than one name, ship from multiple addresses, and/or form intricate arrays of confusingly similar affiliates in order to make it more difficult to identify the source of infringing products.