On February 11, 2016, Immersion Corp. of San Jose, California (“Immersion”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”) and AT&T Inc. of Dallas, Texas and AT&T Mobility LLC of Atlanta, Georgia (collectively, “AT&T”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain mobile electronic devices incorporating haptics (including smartphones and smartwatches) and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,773,356 (the ‘356 patent), 8,619,051 (the ‘051 patent), and 8,659,571 (the ‘571 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”). 

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to haptic feedback technology.  In particular, the ‘356 patent relates to advances in providing haptic feedback in certain mobile electronic devices (such as mobile phones) that have, among other things, a touchscreen and an actuator.  The ‘051 patent relates to advances in haptic feedback in certain mobile electronic devices (such as mobile phones) that have a touchscreen.  Lastly, the ‘571 patent relates to improved haptics in certain mobile electronic devices (such as mobile phones) by providing dynamic haptic feedback to create more engaging haptic effects.

In the complaint, Immersion states that Apple and AT&T import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to various models of the Apple iPhone and Apple Watch as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Immersion states that its TouchSense 3000, TouchSense 4000, and TouchSense 5000 products, and other related software, practice claims of the asserted patents when such products and software are implemented in mobile electronic devices.  Immersion states that, while it does not mass produce mobile phones and other electronic devices, it does work with electronic device manufacturers to incorporate Immersion’s patented technology into such manufacturers’ mass-produced electronic devices.  Immersion additionally states that it creates its own prototype devices at its 42,000 square-foot facility in San Jose, California.  Immersion further states that it conducts engineering, design, research and development, licensing, sales, marketing, and administrative activities at this facility.

With respect to potential remedy, Immersion requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at Apple and AT&T.