Friday, May 27, 2011

Nokia v. Apple @ ITC: Full Commission Review in 337-701

Nokia has been granted Full Commission review of a narrow portion of the ALJ's Final Initial Determination in the 337-701 investigation of Apple.  The investigation originally involved seven patents.  Matters related to only two will be reviewed. According to the Commission Notice:


On March 25, 2011, the ALJ issued his final ID, finding no violation of section 337 by Respondents with respect to any of the asserted claims of the asserted patents. ... Regarding the ’181 patent, the ALJ found that the accused products do not infringe its asserted claims. The ALJ also found that none of the cited references anticipated or rendered obvious the asserted claims. With respect to the ’256 patent, the ALJ found that the accused products failed to literally infringe the asserted claims and failed to infringe under the doctrine of equivalents. The ALJ also found that the asserted claims were not invalid for obviousness and were not rendered unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. ...The ALJ concluded that an industry exists within the United States that practices the ’789 patent but that a domestic industry does not exist with respect to the ’091 patent, the ’181 patent and the ’256 patent as required by 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(2) and (3).


Having examined the record of this investigation, including the ALJ’s final ID, the petitions for review, and the responses thereto, the Commission has determined to review the final ID in part. Specifically, the Commission has determined to review the findings related to the ’181 patent and the ’256 patent. The Commission has determined not to review any issues related to the ’957 patent, the ’091 patent, and the ’789 patent, and terminates those patents from the investigation.

(emphasis added)


Thus, Nokia would need the Full Commission to overturn the ALJ's findings on infringement and domestic industry to truly prevail.  The Commission's questions to the parties relate primarily to construction of "acoustic cavity" in the '181 and "integrated mobile terminal processor" in the '256.

Nokia and Apple have been busy at the ITC.  On April 26, 2011, Nokia's request for a USITC investigation based in part upon PalmPilot sync patents was granted.  Nokia is also the respondent in the 337-704 and 337-710 investigations initiated by Apple.

Susan Decker at Bloomberg provides background here.


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