Yesterday, the ITC filed a confidential version its opinion in the InterDigital investigation, Inv. No. 337-TA-868, involving Nokia and ZTE. According to a notice issued in the case last week, the Commission has reviewed ALJ Essex’s Final Initial Determination and terminated the investigation with a finding of no violation by either Nokia or ZTE. As

The ITC has issued a notice in the InterDigital investigation (No. 337-TA-868), indicating that the Commission has reviewed ALJ Essex’s Final Initial Determination reversed certain findings, taken no position on others, and ultimately terminated the investigation with a finding of no violation. ALJ Essex issued his initial ruling on June 13, 2014, finding that neither

Four parties have responded to the ITC’s request for statements on the public interest regarding ALJ Essex’s Initial Determination in Inv. No. 337-TA-868 (see our July 2, 2014 post), all addressing the ALJ’s FRAND analysis rejecting arguments against exclusion orders for standard-essential patents and addressing the obligations held by potential licensees. Three of the

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) recently issued the public version of ALJ Essex’s Initial Determination in Inv. No. 337-TA-868 finding that InterDigital had not violated any FRAND obligation and that ZTE and Nokia had not infringed the patents-in-suit (see our June 19, 2014 post). Although the patents were found not to be essential

On December 30, 2013, InterDigital and Huawei filed a stipulation to dismiss the pending Delaware district court action (13-cv-00008) without prejudice, indicating the parties entered into a “binding settlement agreement and agreement to arbitrate”.  The Court promptly dismissed the case.

Yesterday, InterDigital and Huawei similarly moved to terminate the corresponding ITC action, Inv. No.

Late yesterday, Administrative Law Judge Robert K. Rogers issued an order denying the motion brought by Huawei and ZTE (later joined by Nokia) to stay ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-868 pending the outcome of a potential FRAND determination in the District of Delaware.  As we noted in our initial post on this motion, this is not altogether surprising, given the ITC’s statutory mandate to decide cases quickly.  So it looks like InterDigital’s latest standard-essential ITC case will stick with the procedural schedule on a path to a December 2013 hearing.  Huawei and ZTE’s quest to avoid a potential exclusion order, meanwhile, will shift to the Delaware district court, where they recently told the court that it could enjoin InterDigital from enforcing any ITC exclusion order on its SEPs until FRAND issues are resolved.

The order itself is confidential, but the screenshot below shows
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Yesterday, Huawei and ZTE filed a joint reply brief in support of their respective motions to expedite determination of the terms of a FRAND license for InterDigital’s standard-essential patents.  The parties reiterate their willingness to take a FRAND license to InterDigital’s patents and assert that a prompt resolution of FRAND issues will moot other issues and litigation and will prevent Huawei/ZTE from facing irreparable harm.
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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.
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In early January, InterDigital filed a Section 337 complaint in the U.S. International Trade Commission against Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE, accusing those companies’ 3G/4G-compliant smartphones and tablets of infringing several InterDigital patents (this is now ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-868).  Because the ITC cannot award monetary relief, it’s common for complainants to also file corresponding infringement actions in district court, which InterDigital did here in the District of Delaware.  In order to relieve ITC respondents from the burden of litigating in multiple venues simultaneously, 28 U.S.C. § 1659 allows respondents to seek a mandatory stay of the district court action pending the outcome of the ITC case.  Generally, respondents seek such a stay.  But here, neither Huawei nor ZTE have sought a stay — in fact, they have asked the Delaware district court to expedite discovery on FRAND issues.  It’s an interesting strategic move in which they leverage recent guidance from government agencies and other pending litigation, and it’s a strategy that (if successful) may be followed by many more ITC respondents in the future.
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