On September 22, 2011, VIA Technologies, Inc. of Taiwan (“VIA Technologies”), IP-First, LLC of Fremont, California, and Centaur Technology, Inc. of Austin, Texas (“Centaur”) (collectively, “VIA”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. a/k/a Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”) unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain computing devices with associated instruction sets and software that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,253,312 (the ‘312 patent), 6,253,311 (the ‘311 patent), and 6,754,810 (the ‘810 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to the efficient loading, conversion, and transfer of data in the microprocessors of electronic devices.  In particular, the ‘312 patent relates to improvements in loading data in a microprocessor.  The ‘311 patent relates to improvements in the conversion and transfer of data in a microprocessor.  The ‘810 patent is related to the ‘311 patent and concerns improvements in the conversion and transfer of data within a microprocessor.  

In the complaint, VIA states that Apple imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the Apple iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPod Touch 4th generation, and Apple TV 2nd generation—and software designed for those devices—as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, VIA states that it makes extensive use of the inventions claimed in the asserted patents in numerous products.  In particular, VIA states that its VIA Nano microprocessors practice at least one claim of the ‘311 and ‘810 patents and that certain products currently in development at Centaur (a subsidiary of VIA Technologies) practice at least one claim of the ‘312 patent.  VIA further states that, through its subsidiaries and licensees, it has made significant investments in labor and capital with respect to VIA products that practice the asserted patents.  According to the complaint, those significant investments in labor and capital are dedicated to research, development, design, engineering, and product support services for VIA products that practice the asserted patents.

As to related litigation, VIA states that the asserted patents are also the subject of an action for patent infringement that it filed against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.  Additionally, VIA states that the ‘311 patent was involved in prior litigation against Intel Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, but that that case settled before trial.

With respect to potential remedy, VIA requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Apple.