On September 20, 2013, TRW Automotive U.S. LLC of Livonia, Michigan (“TRW”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Magna Electronics, Inc. (“Magna”) of East Lansing, Michigan unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain vision-based driver assistance system cameras that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,807,287 (the ‘287 patent).

According to the complaint, the asserted patent generally relates to an apparatus and method for road profile prediction by looking at and processing image data derived from the road ahead of the data to locate lane markers and find lane positions, heading, curvature, and horizon.

In the complaint, TRW alleges that Magna produces an infringing forward-facing camera called “EYERIS,” and that this product is being included in passenger vehicles assembled outside the United States, including the Chevrolet Equinox.  The complaint also asserts that a Magna affiliate has opened a production line/factory in China for making the accused products.

Regarding domestic industry, TRW asserts that it has made significant investment in research and design facilities in Michigan where manufacture, research, and design of driver assistance systems are conducted.  Commercial TRW products are also manufactured domestically in Illinois, and TRW asserts that the Scalabe Camera of the “S-Cam” forward driver assistance system practices at least one claim of the‘287 patent.

As to related litigation, TRW states that on June 23, 2013, it sued Magna in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan for infringement of two patents, including the ‘287 patent.  According to the complaint, Magna also sued TRW on June 20, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan alleging infringement of numerous patents.  Magna filed a separate suit against TRW in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan alleging infringement of numerous additional patents, and TRW answered alleging infringement of the ‘287 patent as a counterclaim. 

With respect to potential remedy, TRW requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at Magna in relation to the accused products.