Broadcom/Qualcomm, 337-TA-543 (Certain Baseband Processor Chips and Chipsets, Transmitter and Receiver (Radio) Chips, Power Control Chips, and Products Containing Same, Including Cellular Telephone Handsets)

Enforcement Proceeding at ITC: Judge Bullock postponed his initial determination and the target date for the Commission’s decision for the Qualcomm v. Broadcom enforcement proceeding. Judge Bullock’s initial determination regarding whether the Commission’s remedies apply to Qualcomm’s “design-around” chips, which was originally scheduled for July 28, 2008, will issue on November 28, 2008.

Fed. Cir. Appeal of Violation Phase: Federal Circuit Oral arguments were held for the violation phase of the Broadcom/Qualcomm Section 337 investigation. The arguments centered around whether the Commission had authority to extend a limited exclusion order to downstream products. This decision most likely will provide instruction to future complainants seeking downstream relief through Section 337 investigations.

Philip Morris/Internet Retailers, 337-TA-643 (Certain Cigarettes and Packaging Thereof)

Investigation Background: The Commission voted to institute a Section 337 investigation regarding “grey market” goods. Grey market goods cases have been relatively rare in the history of Section 337 proceedings. In this case, Philip Morris has sought relief against a number of foreign internet cigarette retailers. The allegations include that products being imported by the internet retailers, containing trademarks such as MARLBORO, are materially different from the domestic products.

Current Status: Judge Luckern issued an order requiring 11 (out of 13) respondents who failed to respond or adequately respond to the Complaint to explain why they should not be held in default. In accordance with the Commission’s regulations regarding defaulting respondents, Philip Morris may obtain limited exclusion orders against respondents held in default. The issuance of limited exclusion order in this investigation infers that a party may start obtaining relief against grey market internet retailers within 4-5 months of filing a Section 337 complaint.