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USITC to Investigate Complaint Against Panasonic et. al.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that it has initiated an investigation based on patent infringement complaints by Freescale Semiconductor against Panasonic, Funai, JVC and various retailers.

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Unedited press release follows:


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain integrated circuits, chipsets, and products containing same including televisions, media players, and cameras.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., of Austin, TX, on March 1, 2010. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain integrated circuits, chipsets, and products containing same including televisions, media players, and cameras that infringe patents asserted by Freescale. 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:

Panasonic Corporation of Japan;
Panasonic Semiconductor Discrete Devices Co. Ltd. of Japan;
Panasonic Corporation of North America of Secaucus, NJ;
Funai Electric Co., Ltd., of Japan;
Funai Corporation, Inc., of Rutherford, NJ;
JVC Kenwood Holdings, Inc., of Japan;
Victor Company of Japan Limited of Japan;
JVC Americas Corp. of Wayne, NJ;
Best Buy Co., Inc., of Richfield, MN;
B & H Foto & Electronics Corp of New York, NY;
Huppin’s Hi-Fi Photo & Video, Inc., of Spokane, WA; Inc. of Aliso Viejo, CA;
Liberty Media Corporation of Englewood, CO;
QVC, Inc., of West Chester, PA;
Crutchfield Corporation of Charlottesville, VA;
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., of Bentonville, AR; and
Computer Nerds International, Inc., of Miami, FL.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-709), 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.