ITC Will Investigate Complaint By InterDigital Against Mobile Devices By Samsung, Nokia, Huawei & ZTE

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The U.S. International Trade Commission announced that it is launching a Section 337 investigation into wireless devices with 3G and 4G capabilities and components by Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE. These include the Samsung ATIV S, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Stellar, Galaxy Tab II (10.1), SCH-LC11, and 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot; the Nokia Lumia 820, Lumia 822, and Lumia 920; the ZTE 4G Hotspot, Avail, Flash, and JetPack 890L; and the Huawei Activa 4G, E368 USB Connect Force 4G, MediaPad (S7 Pro), Unite, and HUA U8680 MYTOUCH.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by InterDigital Communications on January 2 (link via the ITC 337 Law Blog). The Pennsylvania company alleges that the devices in question infringe on seven of its patents. According to InterDigital’s law firm Oblon Spivak, these include:

 “…the ‘966 and ‘847 patents relate to improvements to the way a mobile device gains access to a cellular CDMA system.  The ‘970 patent relates to a technique for communication between user equipment and one or more wireless networks.  The ‘151 patent relates to an improvement in the provision of control information to devices operated in a wireless communications environment, such as on an LTE-based wireless communications network.  The ‘830 and ‘636 patents relate to improvements to the way a subscriber unit gains access to a cellular CDMA system.  Lastly, the ‘406 patent relates to improved automatic power control for a CDMA system.”

InterDigital Communications is seeking an exclusion order preventing the devices involved from being imported into the U.S. and a cease-and-desist order. The ITC says it will set a target date for completing the investigation within 45 days.

Here is the full statement from the USITC:

USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN WIRELESS DEVICES WITH 3G AND/OR 4G CAPABILITIES AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain wireless devices with 3G and/or 4G capabilities and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are cellular mobile telephones including smartphones, cellular PC cards, cellular USB dongles or sticks, personal computers such as laptops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and other mobile internet devices with cellular capabilities, cellular access points or “hotspots” and cellular modems.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by InterDigital Communications, Inc., of King of Prussia, PA; InterDigital Technology Corporation of Wilmington, DE; IPR Licensing, Inc., of Wilmington, DE; and InterDigital Holdings, Inc., of Wilmington, DE; January 2, 2013. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wireless devices with 3G and/or 4G capabilities and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., of Suwon-city, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea;
    Samsung Electronics America, Inc., of Ridgefield Park, NJ;
    Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, of Richardson, TX;
    Nokia Corporation of Espoo, Finland;
    Nokia Inc. of White Plains, NY;
    ZTE Corporation of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China;
    ZTE (USA) Inc. of Richardson, TX;
    Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China;
    Huawei Device USA, Inc., of Plano, TX; and
    FutureWei Technologies, Inc., d/b/a Huawei Technologies (USA) of Plano, TX.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-868), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.