On October 3, 2014, ALJ Dee Lord issued Order Nos. 15 and 16 (both dated June 2, 2014) in Certain Television Sets, Television Receivers, Television Tuners, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-910).
By way of background, this investigation is based on a January 28, 2014 complaint filed by Cresta Technology Corp. alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain television sets, television receivers, television tuners, and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,075,585, 7,265,792, and 7,251,466. See our January 30, 2014 and March 24, 2014 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively.
According to Order No. 15, Complainant Cresta Technology Corporation ("Cresta") filed a motion to compel Respondents Silicon Laboratories Inc.; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (collectively, "Samsung"); LG Electronics Inc.; LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc.; MaxLinear, Inc.; Sharp Corporation; Sharp Electronics Corporation; and VIZIO, Inc. (collectively, "Respondents") to respond to four interrogatories. Cresta argued that the requested information was relevant, within the scope of Commission Rule 210.27, and not privileged. In opposition, Respondents argued "that at this early stage in the litigation, Complainant does not have evidence that Respondents' discovery is inadequate to justify such burdensome and invasive discovery." Respondents asserted that they would cooperate with Cresta to produce some of the information requested in the interrogatories. However, Respondents argued that they should not be required to fully comply with the interrogatories because "as Written, [they] are overly broad and intrusive."
The first interrogatory at issue requested that Respondents "[i]dentify in detail all sources and locations you search or plan to search for documents in response to Complainant's First Requests for Production of Documents...." ALJ Lord held that Respondents must "identify the sources and locations of documents they have already searched." ALJ Lord further ordered that Respondents must identify custodians of documents within reason. ALJ Lord denied Cresta's request for specific locations of information because discovery is still in its early stages and Cresta has not alleged that Respondents' efforts to collect and produce documents are inadequate.
The second interrogatory requested that Respondents "[d]escribe in detail all steps you undertake or plan to undertake to locate documents in response to Complainant's First Requests for Production of Documents...." ALJ Lord held that Respondents must cooperate with Cresta in identifying search terms within reasonable limits. ALJ Lord further ordered that Respondents must provide the sources searched and the procedural details of how the search was conducted.
The third interrogatory at issue requested that Respondents "[d]escribe in detail your email retention policies and practices, including policies for purging email..." ALJ Lord held that Respondents must produce documents that describe their email retention policies and must identify or produce documents sufficient to identify persons most knowledgeable about Respondents' email systems and email retention policies.
The fourth, and final, interrogatory requested that Respondents "[i]dentify any document retention notices issued in connection with this litigation and all persons and entities who have received such retention notices." ALJ Lord held that Respondents must identify any litigation hold notice issued in connection with this Investigation by date issued, the name of counsel issuing such notice, and all recipients of such notice.
As to the remaining information sought by Cresta, ALJ Lord held that Complainant must show that Respondents have not met their discovery obligations to justify such requests. Accordingly, ALJ Lord granted in part Cresta's Motion to Compel.
According to Order No. 16, Cresta filed a motion to compel Samsung to produce all responsive information concerning tuners used in Samsung's televisions. Cresta argued that it is entitled to information concerning tuners manufactured by both Silicon Labs and MaxLinear because they were specifically identified in the complaint as infringing products. Cresta further asserts that it is entitled to information concerning tuners manufactured by parties other than Silicon Labs and MaxLinear because that information is relevant to the analysis of public interest considerations.
In opposition, Samsung argued that Cresta met and conferred only with respect to one of the interrogatory requests (Interrogatory No. 13) and failed to meet and confer regarding the remaining interrogatories and requests for production. Samsung further asserted that the MaxLinear tuners are outside the scope of discovery.
ALJ Lord held that "Samsung had adequate notice that its products incorporating the MaxLinear tuners would be within the scope of the Investigation and therefore properly discoverable." ALJ Lord held that Samsung had adequate notice based on MaxLinear tuners being identified as allegedly infringing components and MaxLinear being named as a respondent. ALJ Lord further based his determination on Cresta identifying Samsung televisions as allegedly infringing products in response to Samsung's contention interrogatories. Therefore, ALJ Lord granted Cresta's motion with respect to the interrogatories that broadly encompass both the Silicon Labs and MaxLinear tuners. ALJ Lord denied Cresta's motion with respect to Interrogatory 13 because that interrogatory specifically identified Samsung products that only incorporate Silicon Labs tuners. ALJ Lord further denied Cresta's motion with respect to the interrogatories that sought all Samsung televisions and tuners because Cresta failed to meet and confer on the issue of non-infringing tuners in violation of Ground Rule 3.2. Accordingly, ALJ Lord granted in part Cresta's Motion to Compel.