On March 10, 2017, Sony Corporation of Japan and Sony Electronics Inc. of San Diego, California (collectively, “Sony”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that ARRIS International plc, ARRIS Group, Inc., ARRIS Enterprises LLC, and ARRIS Solutions, Inc. (all of Suwanee, Georgia); ARRIS Technology, Inc. of Horsham, Pennsylvania; ARRIS Global Ltd. (formerly Pace Ltd.) of West Yorkshire, England; Pace Americas, LLC, Pace Americas Holding, Inc., Pace USA LLC, and Pace Americas Investments, LLC (all of Boca Raton, Florida) (collectively, “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain digital cable and satellite products, set-top box products, and gateway products that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. RE45,126 (“the ’126 patent); 6,467,093 (“the ’093 patent”); 8,032,919 (”the ’919 patent”); 6,556,221 (“the ’221 patent”); and 6,915,525 (“the ’525 patent”).
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to various aspects of digital cable and satellite products, set-top boxes, and gateway products. In particular, the ’126 patent is directed to communication devices that connect to a counterpart communication device using a push button. The ’093 and ’919 patents relate to digital broadcast receiving apparatuses that output digital broadcast signals in compressed and decompressed form to various types of digital external units. The ’221 patent is directed to a system with a target device and a controller device in which the target device provides a complex graphic user interface (“GUI”) having a button GUI element that defines the appearance of a button element displayed by the controller device. The ’525 patent relates to controlling hardware and software set-top box functions, such as changing channels, through a browser.
In the complaint, Sony states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to certain ARRIS and Pace digital cable and satellite products—including ARRIS and Pace digital cable set-top boxes products supplied to Comcast for its Xfinity brand and DIRECTV for its Genie brand, as well as ARRIS media gateway products and telephony gateway products—as infringing devices.
Regarding domestic industry, Sony asserts that its own digital televisions practice at least one claim of each of the asserted patents. Sony states that the activities of its U.S.-based subsidiary, SEL, include engineering design, research, development, distribution, customer service, and administration of warranty and repair of Sony digital televisions, including the domestic industry products. Sony also asserts that it has made significant investments in design and development, quality assurance, and technical support for the domestic industry products. In addition, Sony states that another U.S.-based subsidiary, SCA, “helps Sony exploit the technology of the patents at issue through extensive licensing activities conducted within the United States.” For example, Sony states that it licenses the asserted patents to at least 34 companies, at least six of which “were the product of extensive negotiation and consultation between Sony and the respective licensee, much of which took place within the United States.” Sony also contends that it makes significant investments in labor in connection with the design, development, and support for the domestic industry products.
As to related litigation, Sony states that, concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, it also filed a complaint against the ARRIS and Pace respondents in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia alleging infringement of the asserted patents. Sony further states that it previously filed a complaint in 2015 in the District of Delaware against Pace Ltd. and Pace Americas, LLC for infringing six patents. The Delaware litigation is currently pending.
With respect to potential remedy, Sony requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease-and-desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents.