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USITC Investigates Retractable USB Connector Complaint

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced it will investigate a complaint filed by Anu IP LLC alleging a variety of companies’ devices that employ retractable USB connectors infringe the entity’s patents.

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Unedited press release follows:

May 18, 2012
News Release 12-054
Inv. No. 337-TA-843
Contact: Peg O’Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic devices having a retractable USB connector. The products at issue in this investigation are devices with retractable USB connectors such as cameras, camcorders, digital audio recorders, MP3 players, wireless modems, and flash memory drives.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Anu IP LLC of Longview, TX, on April 18, 2012. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic devices having a retractable USB connector that infringe patents asserted by Anu IP. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

AIPTEK International, Inc., of Taiwan;
Aluratek, Inc., of Tustin, CA;
Archos S.A. of France;
Archos, Inc., of Greenwood Village, CO;
Bluestar Alliance LLC of New York, NY;
Centon Electronics, Inc., of Aliso Viejo, CA;
Coby Electronics Corporation of Lake Success, NY;
Corsair Memory, Inc., of Fremont, CA;
Emtec Electronics, Inc., of Lew Center, OH;
General Imaging Company of Torrance, CA;
Huawei Technology Company, Ltd., of China;
Iriver, Inc., of Irvine, CA;
JVC Kenwood Corporation of Japan;
JVC Americas Corporation of Wayne, NJ;
Latte Communications, Inc., of San Jose, CA;
Lexar Media, Inc., of Fremont, CA;
Maxell Corporation of America, Inc., of Woodland Park, NJ;
Hitachi Maxell, Ltd., of Japan;
Office Depot, Inc., of Boca Raton, FL;
Olympus Corporation of Japan;
Olympus Corporation of the Americas of Center Valley, PA;
Option NV of Belgium;
Option, Inc., of Alpharetta, GA;
Panasonic Corporation of Japan;
Panasonic Corporation North America of Secaucus, NJ;
Patriot Memory LLC of Fremont, CA;
Provantage LLC of North Canton, OH;
RITEK Corporation of Taiwan;
Advanced Media Inc. d/b/a RITEK U.S.A. of Diamond Bar, CA;
Sakar International, Inc., of Edison, NJ;
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., of Republic of Korea;
Samsung Electronics America of Ridgefield, NJ;
Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., of Japan;
Sanyo North America Corporation of San Diego, CA;
Silicon Power Computer and Comm., Inc., of Taiwan;
Silicon Power Computer and Comm. USA, Inc., of Cupertino, CA;
Supersonic, Inc., of Commerce, CA;
Super Talent Technology Corporation of San Jose, CA;
Toshiba Corporation of Japan;
Toshiba America, Inc., of New York, NY;
ViewSonic Corporation of Walnut, CA;
VOXX International Corporation of Hauppauge, NY;
Audiovox Accessories Corporation of Carmel, IN;
Yamaha Corporation of Japan; and
Yamaha Corporation of America of Buena Park, CA.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-843), 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.