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USITC Targets Blu-ray Majors in Patent Investigation

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that it will investigate a complaint filed by Walker Digital alleging that Blu-ray Disc (BD) players manufactured by Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Sony, Pioneer and others infringe a patent owned by the private research and development lab.

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Unedited press release follows:

January 5, 2012
News Release 12-004
Inv. No. 337-TA-824
Contact: Peg O’Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain Blu-ray disc players, components thereof, and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are Blu-ray disc players that incorporate features known as BD-Live (Profile 2.0) and/or BonusView (Profile 1.1).

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Walker Digital, LLC of Stamford, CT, on December 2, 2011. Letters supplementing the complaint were filed on December 21, 2011, and December 22, 2011. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain Blu-ray disc players, components thereof, and products containing same that infringe a patent asserted by Walker Digital. 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:

D&M Holdings, Inc., of Japan;
D&M Holdings US, Inc., of Mahwah, NJ;
Denon Electronics (USA) LLC of Mahwah, NJ;
Funai Electric Co., Ltd., of Japan;
Funai Corporation, Inc., of Rutherford, NJ;
Haier Group Corporation of China;
Haier America Trading, LLC, of New York, NY;
Harman International Industries, Inc., of Stamford, CT;
Inkel Corporation of South Korea;
LG Electronics, Inc., of South Korea;
LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., of Englewood Cliffs, NJ;
Marantz America LLC of Mahwah, NJ;
Onkyo Sound & Vision Corporation of Japan;
Onkyo USA Corporation of Upper Saddle River, NJ;
Orion America, Inc., of Princeton, NJ;
Orion Electric Co., Ltd., of Japan;
Panasonic Corporation of Japan;
Panasonic Corporation of North America of Seacaucus, NJ;
P&F USA, Inc., of Alpharetta, GA;
Philips Electronics North America Corp. of Andover, MA;
Pioneer Corporation of Japan;
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. of Long Beach, CA;
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., of South Korea;
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., of Ridgefield Park, NJ;
Sharp Corporation of Japan;
Sharp Electronics Corporation of Mahwah, NJ;
Sherwood America, Inc., of La Mirada, CA;
Sony Corporation of Japan;
Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., of Japan;
Sony Corporation of America of New York, NY;
Sony Electronics, Inc., of San Diego, CA;
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC of Foster City, CA;
Toshiba Corporation of Japan;
Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., of Irvine, CA; and
VIZIO, Inc., of Irvine, CA.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-824), 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.