On March 4, 2013, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued the public version of its opinion (dated February 20, 2013) in Certain Microprocessors, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-781).

By way of background, ALJ David P. Shaw found that Respondents Intel Corporation, Componentes Intel de Costa Rica S.A., Intel Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, Intel Products (Chengdu) Ltd., Intel Products (Shanghai) Ltd., Apple Inc., and Hewlett-Packard Company (collectively, “Respondents”) did not violate Section 337 by reason of infringement of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,023,241 (the ‘241 patent); 7,916,444 (the ‘444 patent); and 7,609,500 (the ‘500 patent).  ALJ Shaw also determined that claims 20 and 28–31 of the ‘241 patent and claims 29, 31, 33, and 36 of the ‘444 patent are invalid.  Further, ALJ Shaw found that Complainant X2Y Attenuators, LLC (“X2Y”) satisfied the domestic industry requirement with respect to all of the patents-in-suit.  See our January 25, 2013 and February 19, 2013 posts for more details.

In the opinion, the Commission first addressed X2Y’s claim construction challenges.  Specifically, X2y challenged ALJ Shaw’s construction of three claim terms: “electrode,” “portion,” and “perimeter edge.”  The Commission affirmed ALJ Shaw’s construction of “electrode” and “perimeter edge,” but reversed ALJ Shaw’s determination that the claim term “portion” was indefinite.  The Commission held that “portion” means something between nothing and all.  Given this plain and ordinary meaning, the Commission determined that the claim is not invalid for indefiniteness. 

Second, the Commission ruled on ALJ Shaw’s noninfringement determination.  The Commission noted that X2Y conceded noninfringement based upon the adopted claim construction for the “electrode” claim term.  The Commission reversed ALJ Shaw’s noninfringement determination based on his finding that the accused products lacked “capacitance.”  ALJ Shaw imposed the “capacitance” limitation as a global limitation that was not tied to any particular claim term.  The Commission held that such a global application constituted error.  The Commission stated that inclusion of a “capacitance” limitation is inconsistent with the claim constructions argued for by Respondents and adopted by ALJ Shaw.

Third, the Commission reviewed and vacated ALJ Shaw’s finding that the patent claims at issue would be anticipated or obvious if the ALJ would have adopted X2Y’s claim construction.  The Commission held it was unnecessary to reach issues based on X2Y’s claim construction because it has adopted ALJ Shaw’s claim construction of “electrode.”

Lastly, the Commission reviewed and vacated ALJ Shaw’s determination that X2Y demonstrated a domestic industry under section 337(a)(2)(C).  ALJ Shaw found a domestic industry under section 337(a)(2)(A), (B), and (C).  The Commission held that the issue of X2Y’s domestic industry under section 337(a)(2)(C) is not dispositive under either construction of the term “electrode.” 

Based on the foregoing findings, the Commission affirmed ALJ Shaw’s finding of no Section 337 violation and terminated the investigation.