Thursday, October 29, 2009

DTV Patent War Watch (8)

According to a Vizio press release on October 28, 2009, Vizio has licensed its digital TV patent portfolio to Sony, thereby resolving ongoing patent disputes with SONY. Vizio also becomes a licensee under Sony's digital television patent portfolio.

Note that Vizio acquired the digital TV patents at issue from Motorola, and Motorola acquired the same patents from General Instrument Corp.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mei & Mark LLP Files an Appeal Brief in the Federal Circuit on Behalf of an Appellant in General Protecht Group v. ITC.

The Intellectual Property & Litigation law firm Mei & Mark LLP today filed an appeal brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on behalf of Appellant Wenzhou Trimone Science and Technology Electric Co., Ltd., in General Protecht Group v. ITC, Case Nos. 2009-1378, -1387, -1434. The case is on appeal from the United States International Trade Commission in Investigation No. 337-TA-615. The client retained Mei & Mark LLP for post-ITC proceedings, including appeals, after it lost at the Commission. A copy of the brief (excluding the addendum) is available for download.

Mei & Mark LLP's appellate team consists of registered patent attorneys who possess both exceptional academic credentials in law, science, and technology, and a rare combination of patent law experience covering patent prosecution, licensing, and litigation. The brief is authored by Mr. Lei Mei, a magna cum laude graduate of Duke Law School, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, and Mr. Reece Nienstadt, a Stanford graduate who holds a J.D. degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center.

About Mei & Mark LLP

Mei & Mark LLP provides clients high quality legal services in a flexible, cost-effective manner, focusing on the full range of IP practice including Patent Prosecution, IP Licensing, and Litigation. Our attorneys possess exceptional credentials and have substantial legal and industrial experience. Mei & Mark LLP is a minority-owned law firm based in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DTV Patent War Watch (7)

On October 6, 2009, the United States Court of International Trade ("CIT") issued an opinion dismissing Funai's complaint of the US Customs' earlier rulings that the limited exclusion order issued by the United States International Trade Commission ("ITC") in Inv. No. 337-TA-617 does not cover the redesigned DTV products of Vizio and other companies. Funai Elec. Co. v. United States, No. 09-00374, slip op. at 14 (Ct. Int'l Trade Oct. 6, 2009).

Notably, the CIT held that it does not have subject-matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1581(h) & (i) for "a party plaintiff in Funai’s current circumstance." Slip op. at 11-13.

28 U.S.C. §1581(h) is reproduced below:

(h) The Court of International Trade shall have exclusive jurisdiction of any civil action commenced to review, prior to the importation of the goods involved, a ruling issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, or a refusal to issue or change such a ruling, relating to classification, valuation, rate of duty, marking, restricted merchandise, entry requirements, drawbacks, vessel repairs, or similar matters, but only if the party commencing the civil action demonstrates to the court that he would be irreparably harmed unless given an opportunity to obtain judicial review prior to such importation.

It appears that because Funai, as a patentee and ITC complainant, cannot invoke subject matter jurisdiction at the CIT, because it is not the importer who requested the US Customs' ruling, and thus cannot demonstrate that it "would be irreparably harmed unless given an opportunity to obtain judicial review prior to such importation." 28 U.S.C. §1581(h) (2006).

Note that Funai also brought an enforcement proceeding before the ITC, so it appears that the ITC should be the more appropriate forum for this dispute.