On May 17, 2013, Graphics Properties Holdings, Inc. of New Rochelle, New York (“GPH”) 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 consumer electronics with display and processing capabilities that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,650,327 (the ‘327 patent), 8,144,158 (the ‘158 patent), and/or 5,717,881 (the ‘881 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • Panasonic Corp. of Japan
  • Panasonic Corp. of North America of Secaucus, New Jersey
  • Toshiba Corp. of Japan
  • Toshiba America, Inc. of New York, New York
  • Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. of Irvine, California
  • Vizio, Inc. of Irvine, California
  • AmTran Logistics, Inc. of Irvine, California
  • AmTram Technology Co., Ltd. of Taiwan
  • ZTE Corp. of China
  • ZTE (USA) Inc. of Iselin, New Jersey and Richardson, Texas
  • ZTE Solutions, Inc. of Richardson, Texas

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to consumer electronics with display and processing capabilities.  In particular, the ‘327 and ‘158 patents relate to display systems and processes where geometry, rasterization, and frame buffer values are predominately determined by floating point numbers.  The ‘327 and ‘158 patents also relate to allowing data to be read from, operated on, written to, and stored in a frame buffer using the floating point format.  According to the complaint, the use of the frame buffer enables subsequent graphics operations to be performed directly on the frame buffer data without any loss of accuracy.  Lastly, the ‘881 patent relates to a supercomputer data processing apparatus that includes an instruction set adapted to issue one and two parcel instructions.

In the complaint, GPH states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to various laptops, netbooks, PCs, television sets, HD camcorders, and Blu-ray and DVD players as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, GPH states that it has an extensive domestic licensing program focused on the asserted patents.  GPH states that, since 2009, its activities have been primarily dedicated to licensing the asserted patents.  GPH further states that it employs licensing professionals and outside counsel in the U.S. in connection with its licensing activities.  In addition, GPH refers to the activities of its domestic licensees, including Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”), Apple Inc. (“Apple”), and Motorola Mobility LLC (“Motorola”).  GPH states that Microsoft, Apple, and Motorola have made substantial investments in the U.S. relating to products that practice the asserted patents, including the Microsoft Surface RT, the Apple iPhone, and the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx.

As to related litigation, GPH refers to numerous district court cases where it has alleged infringement of the asserted patents.  Some of these cases involve the Proposed Respondents, but many others involve entities other than the Proposed Respondents.  Most of the cases appear to have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.  GPH also refers to Inv. No. 337-TA-836, where it asserted the ‘327, ‘158, and ‘881 patents against various other entities.  That investigation was terminated based on a series of settlement agreements.  See our January 30, 2013 post for more details.

With respect to potential remedy, GPH requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order directed at the domestic Proposed Respondents.