While much of the focus on standard-essential patent litigation issues has been focused on Microsoft-Motorola, Apple-Samsung, and the InterDigital cases, these are far from the only cases dealing with SEP issues.  District courts and the ITC continue to develop case law on SEP and RAND-related issues.

In an order issued yesterday in Realtek Semiconductor v. LSI (No. 12-cv-03451, N.D. Cal.), Judge Ronald Whyte of the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction that purports to prevent LSI from enforcing an ITC exclusion order until LSI has complied with its IEEE-related RAND obligations.  According to the order [LINK], this means that LSI must wait to enforce any exclusion order until: (1) the court has determined an appropriate RAND rate for LSI’s 802.11-essential patents, (2) LSI offers a license to Realtek at that rate; and (3) Realtek refuses to enter into a license at the judicially-determined RAND rate (which, as the court states, “Realtek indicates it will not do.).

With the ITC’s decision in the 337-TA-794 investigation (on the propriety of exclusion orders for FRAND-pledged essential patents) involving Samsung and Apple due by the end of the month, this is certainly an interesting development.  But given the way the ITC operates, we’re not so sure that the court’s order is going to have the desired effect.  Let’s take a look at Judge Whyte’s order, shall we?


Continue Reading

For those of you unfamiliar with the pace of litigation at the U.S. International Trade Commission, it is fast.  Just several days ago, we were writing about the comments on the public interest submitted in Inv. No. 337-TA-794 by Apple and Samsung, the ITC Staff, and several other interested non-parties.  Late last week, Apple, Samsung, and the ITC staff each submitted responses to these initial public interest comments.

Barring unexpected additional submissions from the parties (e.g., a notice of supplemental authority citing Judge Robart’s forthcoming ruling in the Microsoft-Motorola RAND case, which may come down any day), the briefing in this important ITC case should now be all wrapped up.  Now, the waiting game begins — the Commission has until May 31 decide whether it will issue an exclusion order barring Apple products, should it find that they infringe Samsung’s (alleged) 3G UMTS-essential patent(s) (although a ruling could, of course, come before then).

A round-up of and links to the recent responsive submissions, after the jump…
Continue Reading

This past Wednesday, April 3 was the deadline for the parties and the public to submit responses to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s request for additional briefing in Inv. No. 337-TA-794 (Samsung-Apple).  In addition to Apple and Samsung, several other parties submitted responses, including:

In a later post, we will summarize the submissions from Apple, Samsung, and the various third parties.  But in this post we’ll address the brief submitted by the OUII (or ITC “Staff”) — a third party that represents the public interest in many ITC cases (and who, as we recently noted, has taken a keen interest in SEP-related issues of late).

Notably, OUII expresses the view that public interest considerations do not bar the issuance of an exclusion order based on Apple’s alleged infringement of Samsung’s 3G-essential technology.  In OUII’s view, even if Samsung has FRAND obligations with respect to the standard-essential patents at issue, Apple has not carried its burden to show that Samsung violated these obligations.
Continue Reading