On March 24, 2016, Creative Technology Ltd. of Singapore and Creative Labs, Inc. of Milpitas, California (collectively, “Creative”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain portable electronic devices and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433 (the ‘433 patent):

  • ZTE Corp. of China
  • ZTE (USA) Inc. of Richardson, Texas
  • Sony Corp. of Japan
  • Sony Mobile Communications, Inc. of Japan
  • Sony Mobile Communications AB of Sweden
  • Sony Mobile Communications (USA), Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea
  • Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
  • Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC of Richardson, Texas
  • LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea
  • LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
  • LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc. of San Diego, California
  • Lenovo Group Ltd. of China
  • Lenovo (United States) Inc. of Morrisville, North Carolina
  • Motorola Mobility LLC of Chicago, Illinois
  • HTC Corp. of Taiwan
  • HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington
  • Blackberry Ltd. of Canada
  • Blackberry Corp. of Irving, Texas

According to the complaint, the ‘433 patent relates to various methods for accessing different types of data (such as music or video files) on a portable media player. These methods utilize data about each file to create a hierarchical categorization with at least three levels. The files are populated through the branches of the hierarchy using the associated data such that an individual file can be reached through different routes. Access is provided through a user-friendly interface that has three screens which are displayed sequentially.

In the complaint, Creative states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the ‘433 patent. The complaint specifically refers to various products associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Creative states that it has granted a license to the ‘433 patent to Apple Inc. (“Apple”), which has established a domestic industry in the U.S. relating to the ‘433 patent. The complaint states that Apple’s iPod and iPhone products practice the invention of the ‘433 patent, and that Apple has invested billions of dollars in plant, equipment, labor, capital, engineering, and research and development in the U.S. related to its domestic industry products.

As to related litigation, Creative states that it previously asserted the ‘433 patent against Apple at the ITC (Inv. No. 337-TA-573) and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but that those cases settled and were dismissed. Creative further states that it intends to file district court actions asserting the ‘433 patent against the Proposed Respondents.

With respect to potential remedy, Creative requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents and others acting on their behalf.