On March 12, 2013, Sling Media, Inc. of Foster City, California (“Sling Media”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Belkin International, Inc. of Playa Vista, California (“Belkin”), Monsoon Multimedia, Inc. of San Mateo, California (“Monsoon”), and C2 Microsystems, Inc. of San Jose, California (“C2”) (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain electronic devices having placeshifting or display replication functionality and products containing same that infringe one more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,877,776 (the ‘776 patent), 8,051,454 (the ‘454 patent), 8,060,909 (the ‘909 patent), 7,725,912 (the ‘912 patent), 8,266,657 (the ‘657 patent), and 8,365,236 (the ‘236 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to placeshifting and/or display replication functionality.  In particular, the ‘776, ‘909, ‘454, and ‘236 patents relate to a personal media broadcasting system that enables media distribution over a computer network and allows a user to view and control media sources over a computer network from a remote location.  The ‘912 patent relates to an apparatus and method for effectively implementing a wireless television system that includes a communications processor and a transmitter device that combine at least one of a local-area network interface, a wide-area network interface, and one or more television data interfaces for effectively performing a wireless network transmission process.  Lastly, the ‘657 patent relates to a method for effectively implementing a multi-room television system that includes a digital base station that processes and combines various program sources to produce a processed stream.

In the complaint, Sling Media states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to, inter alia, the Belkin @TV Plus and @TV Premium, the Monsoon Vulkano Flow, Vulkano Flow LC, Vulkano Lava, and Vulkano Blast, and the C2 CC1203 System on Chip as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Sling Media states that it has made significant investments in plant and equipment and engaged in a significant employment of labor and capital in the U.S. in connection with electronic devices that practice the asserted patents.  Sling Media specifically refers to its facilities in California, New York, and Georgia.  Sling Media also states that it has made substantial investments in the exploitation of the asserted patents in the U.S., including engineering and research and development.  As to the technical prong, Sling Media states that its Slingbox 350, Slingbox 500, Slingbox SOLO, and Slingbox Pro-HD multimedia products and its DISH Network Hopper with Sling DVR set-top box practice the asserted patents. 

As to related litigation, Sling Media states that on January 7, 2013, it filed a complaint against Belkin and Monsoon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging infringement of the ‘776, ‘909, ‘454, ‘912, and ‘657 patents.  Sling Media further states that it filed an amended complaint in the district court litigation on February 14, 2013, in which it added an allegation that Belkin and Monsoon infringe the ‘236 patent

With respect to potential remedy, Sling Media requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents.