AMD’s ITC Victory: Patent Enforcement News

Patent Enforcement News
Categories: Success Story

A week ago, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) made a decisive ruling in a patent infringement dispute initiated by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) against LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc.[1], VIZIO, Inc., MediaTek, Inc., and MediaTek USA, Inc. (collectively MediaTek), and Sigma Designs, Inc. (SDI). The ITC investigation resulted in a restraining order against VIZIO, a restraining order against SDI, and a limited exclusion order against VIZIO, SDI, and MediaTek.

Background of the Case

AMD, represented by a legal team from Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, filed a complaint invoking Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The complaint alleged violations related to the importation and sale of certain graphics systems and components, asserting infringement of four AMD patents: ‘506, ‘133, ‘454, and ‘846.

ITC Decision and AMD’s Approach

The ITC decision, dated August 22, 2018, favored AMD, but the company surprisingly refrained from publicizing the victory. The absence of an official statement suggests ongoing negotiations, hinting at a potential comprehensive settlement in the near future.

Details of the ITC Ruling

The ITC found infringements regarding the ‘506 patent by VIZIO, SDI, and MediaTek. While AMD sought restraining orders against VIZIO and SDI, no such request was made against MediaTek. Despite this, the Commission concluded that all three respondents engaged in activities infringing specific claims of the ‘506 patent.

Remedies Granted by the ITC

To address the violations, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order against the infringing products of VIZIO, SDI, and MediaTek. This order restricts the unlicensed entry of MediaTek’s and SDI’s graphics systems and VIZIO’s TVs, manufactured abroad, into the United States. Additionally, the ITC granted restraining orders against SDI and VIZIO, prohibiting various domestic activities such as marketing, distribution, advertising, and solicitation of U.S. agents.

Distinction Between Limited Exclusion Orders and Restraining Orders

It is crucial to understand that limited exclusion orders pertain to Customs regulations, restricting importation, while restraining orders extend to broader domestic activities within the United States. AMD’s success in obtaining both types of orders underscores the significance of the case.

Implications and Presidential Review

The ITC’s orders, delivered on August 22, 2018, have been forwarded to the President and the United States Trade Representative. Per 19 U.S.C. 1337(j), President Trump has a 60-day window to oppose the ITC’s determination based on policy grounds. Though presidential objections to ITC decisions are rare, the outcome of this case is anticipated to become final in due course.

Conclusion

While LG was not involved in the final outcome, having been removed as a respondent earlier in the proceedings, AMD’s success in securing a decisive ITC victory, alongside their ongoing efforts in Trademark Registration, marks a significant development in the ongoing battle against patent infringement. The restrained response from AMD suggests ongoing negotiations, and industry observers eagerly await further developments in this high-stakes dispute.