For those of you unfamiliar with the pace of litigation at the U.S. International Trade Commission, it is fast. Just several days ago, we were writing about the comments on the public interest submitted in Inv. No. 337-TA-794 by Apple and Samsung, the ITC Staff, and several other interested non-parties. Late last week, Apple, Samsung, and the ITC staff each submitted responses to these initial public interest comments.
Barring unexpected additional submissions from the parties (e.g., a notice of supplemental authority citing Judge Robart’s forthcoming ruling in the Microsoft-Motorola RAND case, which may come down any day), the briefing in this important ITC case should now be all wrapped up. Now, the waiting game begins — the Commission has until May 31 decide whether it will issue an exclusion order barring Apple products, should it find that they infringe Samsung’s (alleged) 3G UMTS-essential patent(s) (although a ruling could, of course, come before then).
A round-up of and links to the recent responsive submissions, after the jump… Continue reading →
This past Wednesday, April 3 was the deadline for the parties and the public to submit responses to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s request for additional briefing in Inv. No. 337-TA-794 (Samsung-Apple). In addition to Apple and Samsung, several other parties submitted responses, including:
Notably, OUII expresses the view that public interest considerations do not bar the issuance of an exclusion order based on Apple’s alleged infringement of Samsung’s 3G-essential technology. In OUII’s view, even if Samsung has FRAND obligations with respect to the standard-essential patents at issue, Apple has not carried its burden to show that Samsung violated these obligations. Continue reading →
Due to the large number of ITC investigations and OUII’s limited resources, the “Staff” (a common nickname for OUII) does not participate in every case. What’s noteworthy here is not that the Staff has chosen to participate in these investigations — it’s that in each case, the Staff has limited its participation to issues relating to the standard-essential patents involved. The Staff also specifically notes that it will participate in “public interest related issues [i.e., whether an exclusion order is appropriate for SEPs], and issues relating to Respondents’ FRAND and/or standard-essential patent-related defenses.”
Yesterday we covered InterDigital’s opposition to Huawei, Nokia, and ZTE’s efforts to stay the ITC’s investigation into InterDigital’s latest Section 337 complaint pending a potential FRAND determination in the District of Delaware. We also noted that the other respondent, Samsung, did not join the motion but stated that it did not oppose such a stay. The ITC Investigative Staff from the Office on Unfair Important Investigations (a third party that participates in many ITC investigations as a representative of the public interest) also filed its own response to the motion yesterday. The Staff opposes the motion to stay for a variety of reasons, which we will get into below.
The Samsung-Apple ITC investigation (337-TA-794) originated with a complaint brought by Samsung against Apple back in June 2011, in which Samsung accused various Apple products of infringing five patents. Two of these patents — U.S. Pat Nos. 7,706,348 and 7,486,644 — were alleged by Samsung to be essential to the UMTS 3G cellular standard. Not surprisingly, Apple claimed that Samsung’s FRAND obligations with respect to these SEPs prevent Samsung from receiving an exclusion order, in the event Apple is found to violate Section 337.