On January 14, 2022, the ITC issued the public version of its opinion affirming ALJ Clark S. Cheney’s initial determination (“ID”) finding a violation of section 337 in Certain Light-Emitting Diode Products, Fixtures, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1213).
By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation based on a July 15, 2020 complaint filed by IDEAL INDUSTRIES LIGHTING LLC d/b/a Cree Lighting of Durham, North Carolina (“Cree”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondent RAB Lighting Inc. of Northvale, New Jersey (“RAB”) through the importation/sale of certain light-emitting diode products, fixtures, and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,403,531 (“the ’531 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 8,596,819 (“the ’819 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 8,777,449 (“the ’449 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 9,261,270 (“the ’270 patent”); and U.S. Patent No. 9,476,570 (“the ’570 patent”). The accused products are lamps and other devices alleged to infringe Cree’s patents related to LED light bulbs. On August 17, 2021, ALJ Cheney issued the ID finding a violation of section 337 with respect to the ’270 and ’570 patents, and no violation with respect to the ’531, ’819, and ’449 patents. See our August 20, 2021 post for more details regarding the ID.
The Commission determined to review in part the ID’s finding of no violation as to the ’531 and ’819 patents. According to the opinion, the Commission affirmed the ID’s finding of no violation as to the ’531 and ’819 patents on the grounds that, inter alia, the asserted claims of the ’531 and ’819 patents are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. Specifically, the Commission noted that claims 1-4, 6-12, 22, 24-28, and 52-59 of the ’819 patent were previously found patent ineligible in an ID in Certain Light-Emitting Diode Products and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-947), but the Commission terminated that investigation based on settlement while the finding of patent-eligible subject matter was still under review before the Commission, and therefore that finding was never adopted as a final Commission determination. Moreover, the ALJ in that matter did not have the benefit of the two recent Federal Circuit decisions on which the ID here relies—Free Stream Media Corp. v. Alphonso Inc., 996 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2021) and Yu v. Apple Inc., 1 F.4th 1040 (Fed. Cir. 2021).
Regarding remedy for the violation of section 337 with respect to the ’270 and ’570 patents, the Commission determined to issue a limited exclusion order and cease-and-desist order directed against RAB.