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IPR Enforcement Actions on Memory Chips, Mobile Devices

Monday, May 05, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Potential IPR Probe of Memory Chips Evaluated for Public Interest Issues. The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than May 13 on any public interest issues raised by a Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement complaint filed on behalf of Spansion LLC against certain non-volatile memory chips and products containing the same. Comments should address whether the issuance of exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders pursuant to this complaint would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers.

Investigation of Mobile Devices Terminated Due to Patent Expiration. The International Trade Commission has terminated patent infringement investigation 337-TA-744 of certain mobile devices, associated software and components thereof because the only remaining patent asserted by complainant Microsoft Corporation has expired.

Previously in this case the ITC found a violation with respect to one patent (the ‘566 patent) and issued a limited exclusion order barring the entry of articles that infringe that patent. The ITC found no violation with respect to four other patents, but a federal appeals court remanded consideration of one of those patents (the ‘133 patent) to the ITC. However, the ‘133 patent expired on Dec. 13, 2013, and the ITC has now determined that no remedy may therefore issue in this investigation. However, the exclusion order with respect to the ’566 patent remains in effect.

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