ITC Kicks Off Wireless Device Patent Investigation Into Amazon, Nintendo, Others

By Joseph Mandour on August 22, 2012

amazon-200x132 Los Angeles – The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday launched a Section 337 investigation into certain wireless consumer electronics devices and components to determine whether devices imported into the U.S. by Amazon.com, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Nintendo Co. and others violate three companies’ patent rights regarding high speed microprocessors.

The products at issue in the investigation are consumer electronic devices with wireless capabilities, such as electronic tablets, smartphones, e-readers, mobile hotspots, broadband wireless modems, and handheld game consoles, the ITC said.

The probe is based on a complaint filed by Technology Properties Ltd. LLC and Phoenix Digital Solutions LLC of Cupertino, California, and Patriot Scientific Corp. of Carlsbad, CA, on July 24. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wireless consumer electronics devices and components that infringe a patent asserted by the complainants. The three complainants have requested that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The other companies involved in the investigation include Acer Inc., Barnes & Noble, Garmin Ltd., HTC Corp., Huawei Technologies Co., Kyocera Corp., Novatel Wireless Inc., Sierra Wireless Inc. and ZTE Corp.

The ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case, the Commission said. According to standard procedure for 337 investigations, the ITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the ITC’s six administrative law judges 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, but that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The patent at issue, U.S. Patent Number 5,809,336, is titled “High performance microprocessor having variable speed system clock.” The microprocessor system includes an integrated circuit having a central processing unit and a ring oscillator variable speed system clock for clocking the microprocessor, according to the patent abstract.

The objective of the invention was to provide a high speed microprocessor with a reduced pin count and cost compared to conventional microprocessors, according to the patent summary.

Inventors Charles H. Moore of Woodside, California, and Russell H. Fish III of Mountain View, California were awarded the patent, which was assigned to Patriot Scientific on September 15, 1998 after filing their application on June 7, 1995.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement