The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain non-volatile memory chips and products containing the same. The products at issue in this investigation are memory chips containing integrated circuits that can retain information in the absence of a power source and consumer electronics containing such chips, such as computers, tablets, phones, digital cameras, routers, and video game consoles and cartridges.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Spansion LLC of Sunnyvale, CA, on April 29, 2014. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain non-volatile memory chips and products containing the same that infringe patents asserted by Spansion. 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:
Macronix International Co., Ltd. of Hsin-chu, Taiwan;
Macronix America, Inc. of Milpitas, CA;
Macronix Asia Limited of Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Pref., Japan;
Macronix (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. of Hong Kong;
Acer Inc. of New Taipei City, Taiwan;
Acer America Corporation of San Jose, CA;
ADT Corporation of Boca Raton, FL;
Amazon.com, Inc. of Seattle, WA;
ASRock Inc. of Taipei City, Taiwan;
ASRock America, Inc. of Chino, CA;
ASUSTek Computer Inc. of Tapei, Taiwan;
ASUS Computer International of Fremont, CA;
Belkin International, Inc. of Playa Vista, CA;
D-Link Corporation of Taipei City, Taiwan;
D-Link Systems, Inc. of Fountain Valley, CA;
Leap Motion, Inc. of San Francisco, CA;
Lowe's Companies, Inc. of Mooresville, NC;
Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. of Wilkesboro, NC;
Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, WA;
Nintendo Co., Ltd. of Kyoto, Japan;
Nintendo of America, Inc. of Redmond, WA;
Sercomm Corporation of Taipei, Taiwan;
Vonage Holdings Corp. of Holmdel, NJ;
Vonage America Inc. of Holmdel, NJ; and
Vonage Marketing LLC of Holmdel, NJ.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-916), 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 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.