Posts Tagged: "ITC"

Federal Circuit Affirms ITC Refusal to Rescind Exclusion Order Due to Assertion of Patent Invalidity

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the U.S. International Trade Commission in Mayborn Group, Ltd. v. ITC, wherein the U.S. International Trade Commission (the Commission) denied Mayborn’s petition for rescission of a general exclusion order that prohibited the importation of products that infringe U.S. Patent 8,028,850 (the ’850 patent).  The CAFC held that, while Mayborn had standing to appeal, the Commission lacked the authority to adjudicate its patent invalidity claim and an assertion of patent invalidity was insufficient grounds to support a petition to rescind or modify an exclusion order.

Patent Filings Roundup: Fertilizer, Fitness Tracker and Phone Fights

District court patent filings are up again this week, demonstrating that even a good lockdown can’t keep patent lawyers down; indeed, it appears there’s no sleep for the weary, given the spike in non-practicing entity (NPE) assertions and a fair amount of medium-sized company-to-company litigation, as well as a brewing dispute between Philips and Fitbit on wireless fitness trackers.

Federal Circuit’s Ruling Against Comcast Highlights Significance of ITC for Patent Owners

As IPWatchdog reported last week, on March 2, in what can only be characterized as the most significant crackdown against patent evasion in a generation, TiVo Corporation won a groundbreaking U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling against Comcast. The Court’s opinion provides a noteworthy precedent that will spell trouble for the future of Comcast’s business practices, particularly for the company’s upcoming cases with the ITC. More significantly, however, it will protect the authority of the ITC to police similarly profiled instances of patent trolling in the future, which will make the opinion go down in history as one of the most substantial victories for the strength and sanctity of patent evasion in the 21st century

Federal Circuit Upholds ITC Limited Exclusion Order Against Comcast

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling granting a limited exclusion order that bars importation of X1 set-top boxes by Comcast, including importation by ARRIS and Technicolor on behalf of Comcast. Although the patents at issue have both expired, the Court refused Comcast’s motion to dismiss, finding that there were “sufficient collateral consequences to negate mootness.”

The Impact of Overturning eBay v. MercExchange

At a time when most policymakers rightly argue that China and other countries need to do more to clamp down on intellectual property infringement, overturning the four-factor eBay test would impose new hurdles and increase the PAE problem that Congress and the Supreme Court have fought to address over that last two decades. The risk that an implementer engages in “efficient infringement” has made the ITC an increasingly attractive forum, for at least some patent owners and notably not PAEs. ITC exclusion orders and cease and desist orders are the last vestige of the exclusivity promised to the right patent owners at the time they are granted a patent. Compared to proposed sections of the STRONGER Patents Act, the ITC strikes a balance between offering at least some patent owners the ability to prevent infringers from engaging in the never-ending game of “efficient infringement” while frustrating PAEs attempts to abuse the exclusionary remedies offered.  Congressional action should be reserved for a time when there is clear evidence that the eBay decision is harming U.S. businesses and those U.S. businesses are unable to obtain the relief they need at the ITC. At this time, there is no such evidence.

Ranking the Top ITC Firms and Attorneys

Last month, we released our first ITC Intelligence Report. For the first time, we ranked ITC law firms and attorneys based on their performance and activity. Our research team analyzed the outcome of 308 ITC Section 337 Investigations, filed from January 1, 2014, through December 1, 2019. For all the terminated cases, we identified the outcome (e.g., violation, no violation, settlement, etc.). Then, depending on the outcome and win/loss of parties (i.e., complainants and respondents), we allocated points to each side, including the law firms and attorneys representing them.

CAFC Reverses ITC, Vacates Exclusion Orders Against Garage Door Opener Products

On Thursday, December 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. v. International Trade Commission in which the appellate court reversed a final determination from the International Trade Commission (ITC) that garage door opener products sold by Techtronic violated a patent owned by The Chamberlain Group. The Federal Circuit found that the ITC erred in its construction of a claim term during its Section 337 investigation of Techtronic. This appeal stems back to a final determination issued by the ITC in March 2018  where the agency found that Techtronic infringed upon multiple claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,161,319, Movable Barrier Operator Having Serial Data Communication. It covers an improved garage door opener having a motor drive unit and a wall console for closing and opening a door. Both the motor drive unit and the wall console have microcontrollers that are connected via a digital data bus. The invention makes use of passive infrared detectors to detect heat from humans in the vicinity to determine when to illuminate the wall console for better sight of the garage door switches.

How Businesses Can Prepare for ITC Exclusion Orders: Section 337 Investigations on the Rise

Patent investigations at the International Trade Commission (ITC) have been on an upward trend in the last few years. In 2018, the most recent year with complete data, 74 new complaints were filed and there were 130 active investigations, compared to the 117 active investigations in 2017. The trend appears to be continuing in 2019. In today’s global economy, with so many types of products and components being imported into the United States, a rise in patent investigations means that a large number of U.S. companies and their customers are at risk of having their supply chain disrupted. This can result in a potential loss of income, breached contracts, disgruntled customers and general uncertainty regarding the future.

A Look at Five Cases at the International Trade Commission: Apple v. Qualcomm, Jurisdiction Issues, and Overlap with the FDA

Case filings at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), a popular venue for resolving intellectual property disputes, reached record levels in 2018, and 2019 appears likely to be another busy year. In fact, there have already been a number of important decisions, including one in Qualcomm’s high-profile battle with Apple relating to the public interest, one making it clear that the ITC has jurisdiction over those only indirectly involved in infringement, and an opinion addressing the overlap between the ITC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as  the ITC’s ability to police misleading advertising and labeling of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and dietary supplements.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, February 22

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Chinese and U.S. governments hash out intellectual property issues; a prominent New York City politician joins the effort to break the patent on Gilead’s Truvada; Qualcomm tells the ITC that Apple’s design around undermines the agency’s finding that an exclusion order shouldn’t be entered against infringing iPhones; the Fortnite copyright cases take a new turn; Babybel loses the trademark on its red wax cheese coating in the UK; Fisker & Paykel and ResMed settle their worldwide patent dispute; Facebook could face major FTC fines for payments from children playing video games on the platform; and reports indicate that Pinterest is pursuing an initial public offering.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, February 8

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Federal Circuit affirms a Section 101 invalidation of patent claims in favor of Mayo Collaborative Services; Apple wins an order to limit damages in Qualcomm patent case; Google frets over proposed European Union copyright rules; India proposes jail time for film piracy; patent validity challenges drag down the stock of a major pharmaceutical firm; and a snag in the U.S.-China trade talks throws Wall Street for a loop.

Dangers Lie in U.S. Government’s Conflicted Actions Toward Qualcomm, Huawei

5G, or 5th generation wireless communication, has reached the point of determining which core technologies will be used. Suddenly, decisions about which companies will be picked are upon us. And the stakes could hardly be higher — for the companies and for our national (and American citizens’) security. The two businesses in the ring, Qualcomm and Huawei, each find themselves in a tough fight to dominate the IP-based 5G technology on which countless devices—from automobiles to mobile phones to who-knows-what—will interoperate. The 5G platform will empower the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence writ large and more—a technological advance with tremendous potential as well as tremendous risk exposure to spies, hackers and such. Both companies face hurdles from the U.S. government. One makes sense. The other makes no sense.

Standard Essential Patents: The Myths and Realities of Standard Implementation

Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) are patents that are unavoidable for the implementation of a standardized technology. They represent core, pioneering innovation that entire industries will build upon. These patents protect innovation that has taken extraordinary effort to achieve. Standard Development Organizations (SDOs) exist as a mechanism for industry innovators to work together to collectively identify and select the best and most promising innovations that will become the foundation for the entire industry to build upon for years to come. Those contributing patented technologies to the development of a standard are asked to provide a FRAND (which stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) assurance, in essence committing to providing access to patents that are or may become essential to the implementation of the standard.

Assignor Estoppel and IPRs: Possible Impact of Arista v. Cisco on Employment or Assignment Agreements

The doctrine of assignor estoppel has been around for over a century and most often applied in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and U.S. district courts to prevent a first party assigning a patent to a second party from then challenging the validity of the patent they had just assigned. In a November 9, 2018 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the doctrine of assignor estoppel does not apply in the inter partes review (IPR) context (see Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., (Fed. Cir. 2018). This raises intriguing possibilities regarding how companies might be able to protect themselves. One possibility might be to revise their employment agreements for signing by new employees.

Exclusion of Patent Infringing iPhones Delayed Is Justice Denied

In devices such as the iPhone, Apple and Intel merely operate on the technological connectivity platform Qualcomm created. In short, what Intel does well doesn’t compete meaningfully with Qualcomm where American 5G leadership is concerned… Apple’s cavalier conduct toward other people’s intellectual property should run into a red, white and blue brick wall at the American border, courtesy of the ITC, in the form of immediately effective exclusion and cease-and-desist orders, keeping iPhone imports that infringe Qualcomm’s patents out of the United States.