On August 19, 2016, Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw ruled in favor of Wolf Greenfield client Sony Corporation and its co-respondents in Investigation No. 994 at the International Trade Commission (ITC). The claims of the patent asserted against Sony and the other companies were found patent-ineligible under Section 101 of the patent statute. This is the first time that a patent has been found invalid under a new expedited ITC procedure known as the 100-day program, resulting in an efficient victory for Sony and the other respondents. Sony believes the correct decision was reached.

The complainant, Creative Technology Ltd., had requested institution of an ITC action against Sony and a number of other companies, accusing them of infringing a patent related to organizing music on a portable media player. Creative Technology sought to exclude devices such as mobile phones that allegedly use this technology from importation into the United States. Under the 100-day program, the parties and the Administrative Law Judge focused solely on patent-eligibility under Section 101 for the first 100 days of the investigation.

Wolf Greenfield was pleased to be part of the respondent group that achieved this significant win. A typical ITC case takes over a year, so reducing that period to 100 days saves significant time and resources.