Last week Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Gildea granted Adaptix’s motion to withdraw its Complaint and investigation of Ericsson’s alleged infringement of patents alleged to cover LTE standards used by Ericsson’s base stations (see our prior posts discussing Adaptix’s motion and Ericsson’s response).

ALJ Gildea’s ruling was short and succinct, noting–but not opining on–Ericsson’s assertion

Back in January, we alerted you to a patent infringement case brought in the U.S. International Trade Commission by Acacia Research subsidiary Adaptix.  Adaptix accused Ericsson of infringing U.S. Pat. No. 6,870,808, which Adaptix asserted to be essential to the ETSI 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless standard.  The ITC later instituted the investigation as

ITC LogoYesterday 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

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The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is a quasi-judicial agency with broad investigative powers relating to trade practices.  These powers include the ability to investigate unfair trade practices relating to the importation of products that infringe valid U.S. patents — so-called “Section 337 actions” (Section 337 actions can encompass other conduct, but are commonly used to target patent infringement).  But because the ITC may only issue injunctive relief (via exclusion orders and cease & desist orders), and cannot award monetary damages, the assertion of standard-essential patents in Section 337 actions has become a subject of great debate.  Within about a month, the Commission will issue a Final Determination in Investigation No. 337-TA-794 (involving Samsung and Apple) that may address the propriety of asserting FRAND-pledged SEPs in Section 337 actions.  In the meantime, however, there are several ongoing ITC investigations where standard-essential patents are being asserted.  Below is a brief summary of where each of these cases currently stand:


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Assertion of standard-essential patents are all the rage at the ITC these days, with an upcoming trial on InterDigital’s claims (Inv. No. 337-TA-800), another recent complaint filed by InterDigital, dueling Ericsson-Samsung complaints, and the highly anticipated Final Determination in ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-794 involving Apple and Samsung due in March.  And today, a company named Adaptix — a subsidiary of noted non-practicing entity Acacia Research — threw its hat into the ring, firing off a Section 337 complaint accusing Ericsson’s 4G LTE base stations of infringing U.S. Pat. No. 6,870,808, titled “Channel Allocation in Broadband Orthoganol Frequency-Division Multiple-Access/Space-Division Multiple-Access Networks.”  But this might not be your typical standard-essential patent case — it has a couple of twists.
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