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IPR Enforcement Actions on Touchscreen Controllers, Electronic Device Cases

Monday, April 27, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Touchscreen Controllers. The International Trade Commission received April 21 on behalf of Synaptics Incorporated a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding certain touchscreen controllers and products containing same. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders against the proposed respondents, which are located in China and the U.S.

The ITC is requesting comments no later than May 5 on any public interest issues raised by this complaint. 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.

Protective Cases for Electronic Devices. The ITC has instituted investigation 337-TA-955 to determine whether imports of certain protective cases for electronic devices and components thereof are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue are typically used for consumer devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebook computers.

Complainant Otter Products LLP requests that after this investigation the ITC issue an exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of the infringing products into the U.S., and cease and desist orders, which would require the named respondents to cease actions that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. The respondents in this investigation are located in the United Kingdom and the U.S.

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