Yesterday the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that it has instituted a Section 337 investigation titled Certain Wireless Communications Base Stations and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-871. This investigation is based on a complaint filed on January 24, 2013 by Adaptix, Inc. (a subsidiary of noted publicly-traded non-practicing entity Acacia Research) against Ericsson. The complaint names a single patent, U.S. Pat. No. 6,870,808, which Adaptix claims is essential to the practice of the 4G LTE standard. Here’s the Notice of Institution in the -871 investigation.
As you may recall from our prior post regarding Adaptix’s complaint, there are a couple of potentially-interesting situations in this case. First, Adaptix claims that it had no involvement in the LTE standard-setting process, and thus owes no FRAND obligation for the ‘808 patent. Second, some people have begun to wonder whether Acacia and Adaptix might be acting as patent privateers for Samsung, who is currently engaged in a large standard-essential patent battle with Ericsson. We’ll have to see what facts come out as the investigation proceeds.