On February 26, 2015, Ericsson Inc. of Plano, Texas and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson of Sweden (collectively, "Ericsson") filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. a/k/a Apple Computer Inc. of Cupertino, California ("Apple") unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain electronic devices, including wireless communication devices, computers, tablet computers, digital media players, and cameras that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,633,550 (the '550 patent), 6,157,620 (the '620 patent), 6,029,052 (the '052 patent), 8,812,059 (the '059 patent), 6,291,966 (the '966 patent), and 6,122,263 (the '263 patent) (collectively, the "asserted patents").
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to electronics. In particular, the '550 patent relates to a short-range radio transceiver on a single integrated circuit chip. The '620 patent relates to devices and methods for selectively communicating audio signals through a cellular network or an IP network. The '052 patent relates to a communication device that uses direct conversion (processing received signals using intermediate frequencies within the same frequency range as the received signal bandwidth) to receive wireless signals at multiple frequency bands without requiring significant hardware duplication. The '059 patent relates to a mobile phone with a touch-screen display with two modes of operation. The '966 patent relates to a system within portable electronic devices that stores and communicates battery information to the electronic device. Lastly, the '263 patent relates to a mobile terminal that can select between different radio interfaces in order to optimize reception of information from a packet-switched fixed network, such as the Internet.
In the complaint, Ericsson states that Apple imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to the Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod, Watch, Mac computer products, and digital media players such as the Apple TV as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Ericsson refers to its substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents through its licensing activities in the U.S, including patent portfolio analysis, monitoring the market, financial and technical analysis, patent infringement analysis and documentation, negotiations with prospective licensees, and litigation activities related to unwilling licensees. Ericsson further states on information and belief that at least some of its licensees have made a significant investment in plant and equipment and/or have engaged in a significant employment of labor or capital and/or have made a substantial investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents in the U.S.
As to related litigation, Ericsson states that, concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it also expects to file an action against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging infringement of the asserted patents. Ericsson further states that the '052 patent has been the subject of two prior ITC investigations (Inv. Nos. 337-TA-583 and 337-TA-862) and a prior district court action. See our January 7, 2013 post for more details on the 862 investigation. Lastly, Ericsson states that the '052 patent is currently being asserted against TCL Communication Technology Holdings, Ltd. and others in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
With respect to potential remedy, Ericsson requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Apple.