On Friday, U.S. International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw issued a Notice of Initial Determination in In the Matter of Certain Wireless Devices with 3G Capabilities and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-800. This investigation was originally instituted nearly two years ago based on a complaint filed by InterDigital against Huawei, Nokia, ZTE, and LG, in which InterDigital accused the companies of infringing several InterDigital patents alleged to be essential to various 3G cellular communications standards. The evidentiary hearing was held in January 2013, and the case involves the intersection of a two issues that have drawn a lot of attention lately — the assertion of standard-essential patents at the ITC (and what if any relevance FRAND licensing obligations have to the proceedings), as well as patent infringement cases brought by non-practicing entities (InterDigital is an NPE that has been deemed a “patent troll” by some, while others take a more favorable view of the company’s activities).
So far, it appears that InterDigital’s SEP infringement assertions have failed (at least for now). While the public version of ALJ Shaw’s Initial Determination won’t become available for at least a few weeks, Friday’s Notice indicates that ALJ Shaw found no violations of Section 337 with respect to any of the seven remaining asserted patents.