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Sharp Alleges LCD Patent Misdeeds

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced it would investigate a complaint that alleges Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) products offered by AUO, BenQ, Haier, LG, Sanyo, TCL, TTE and Vizio infringe patents owned by Sharp Corporation.

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Unedited press release follows:


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain liquid crystal display devices, products containing same, and methods for using the same. The products at issue in this investigation are LCD modules and panels and products such as LCD televisions and monitors.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Sharp Corporation of Japan on January 24, 2011. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain liquid crystal display devices, products containing same, and methods for using the same that infringe patents asserted by Sharp. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

AU Optronics Corp. of Taiwan;
AU Optronics Corporation America of Houston, TX;
BenQ America Corp. of Irvine, CA;
BenQ Corporation of Taiwan;
Haier America Trading LLC of New York, NY;
Haier Group Company of China;
LG Electronics Inc. of Korea;
LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., of Englewood Cliffs, NJ;
SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., of Japan;
SANYO North America Corporation of San Diego, CA;
TCL Corporation of China;
TTE Technology, Inc., of Indianapolis, IN; and
VIZIO, Inc., of Irvine, CA.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-760), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.