On May 5, 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release announcing their vote to institute an investigation of Certain Portable Electronic Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-994).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a March 24, 2016 complaint filed by Creative Technology Ltd. of Singapore and Creative Labs, Inc. of Milpitas, California alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain portable electronic devices and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433. See our March 24, 2016 post for more details on the complaint.

According to the Notice of Investigation, the Commission has identified the following as the respondents:

  • ZTE Corp. of China
  • ZTE (USA) Inc. of Richardson, Texas
  • Sony Corp. of Japan
  • Sony Mobile Communications, Inc. of Japan
  • Sony Mobile Communications AB of Sweden
  • Sony Mobile Communications (USA), Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea
  • Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
  • LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea
  • LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
  • LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc. of San Diego, California
  • Lenovo Group Ltd. of China
  • Lenovo (United States) Inc. of Morrisville, North Carolina
  • Motorola Mobility LLC of Chicago, Illinois
  • HTC Corp. of Taiwan
  • HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington
  • Blackberry Ltd. of Canada
  • Blackberry Corp. of Irving, Texas

The Notice of Investigation further indicates that the ALJ:

shall hold an early evidentiary hearing, find facts, and issue an early decision, as to whether the asserted claims of the ‘433 patent recite patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Any such decision shall be in the form of an initial determination (ID). Petitions for review of such an ID shall be due five calendar days after service of the ID; any replies shall be due three business days after service of a petition. The ID will become the Commission's final determination 30 days after the date of service of the ID unless the Commission determines to review the ID...[t]he Commission expects the issuance of an early ID relating to Section 101 within 100 days of institution, except that the presiding ALJ may grant a limited extension of the ID for good cause shown. The issuance of an early ID finding that the asserted claims of the '433 patent do not recite patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 shall stay the investigation unless the Commission orders otherwise; any other decision shall not stay the investigation or delay the issuance of a final ID covering the other issues of the investigation.

Lastly, Chief ALJ Bullock issued a notice indicating that David P. Shaw will be the presiding Administrative Law Judge in this matter.