March 7, 2001
News Release 01-029
Inv. No. 337-TA-451

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN CMOS ACTIVE PIXEL IMAGE SENSORS AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain CMOS active pixel image sensors and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are sensors used as components in a variety of imaging end-products, including video cell phones, machine vision equipment, PC cameras, web cams, and security cameras.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Photobit Corporation of Pasadena, CA, and the California Institute of Technology of Pasadena, CA, on February 7, 2001, and supplemented on February 27, 2001. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain CMOS active pixel image sensors and products containing same that infringe two patents owned by California Institute of Technology and licensed to Photobit and one patent owned by Photobit. The complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified the following companies as respondents in this investigation:

Onmivision Technologies, Inc., of Sunnyvale, CA;
Creative Labs, Inc., of Milpitas, CA; and
X10 Wireless Technology Inc. of Seattle, WA.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-451), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Paul J. Luckern, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Luckern 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 ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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