[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 60 (Wednesday, March 28, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13305-13306]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-06220]


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INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION

[Investigation No. 337-TA-1094]


Certain IOT Devices and Components Thereof (IOT, The Internet of 
Things)--Web Applications Displayed on a Web Browser; Termination of 
Investigation

AGENCY: U.S. International Trade Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade 
Commission has determined to review the presiding administrative law 
judge's (``ALJ'') initial determination (``ID'') (Order No. 10), which 
terminated the investigation for good cause on the basis of the 
imminent expiration of the asserted patent. On review, the Commission 
has determined to affirm the termination based upon the actual 
expiration of the asserted patent.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sidney A. Rosenzweig, Office of the 
General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-2532. Copies of non-
confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are 
or will be available for inspection during official business hours 
(8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. 
International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, 
telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission

[[Page 13306]]

may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed 
on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. 
Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter 
can be obtained by contacting the Commission TDD terminal on (202) 205-
1810.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission instituted this investigation 
on January 22, 2018, based upon an amended and supplemented complaint 
filed by Lakshmi Arunachalam, Ph.D. and WebXchange, Inc., both of Menlo 
Park, California. 83 FR 3021 (Jan. 22, 2018). The complaint alleged 
violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 
U.S.C. 1337), by a number of proposed respondents in the importation 
into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within 
the United States after importation of certain IOT devices and 
components thereof (IOT, the Internet of Things)--web applications 
displayed on a web browser by reason of infringement of certain claims 
of U.S. Patent No. 7,930,340 (``the '340 patent''), as well as unfair 
methods of competition and unfair acts (criminal and civil RICO 
violations, breach of contract, theft of intellectual property, 
antitrust violations, and trade secret misappropriation), the threat or 
effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in 
the United States. 83 FR at 3021. The Commission determined to 
institute the investigation only as to infringement of the '340 patent, 
and named as respondents Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California; Facebook, 
Inc. of Menlo Park, California; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of 
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of 
Seoul, South Korea. Id. at 3022. The Office of Unfair Import 
Investigations (``OUII'') was also named as a party. Id.
    On January 29, 2018, the respondents moved to terminate the 
investigation based upon the then-imminent expiration of the '340 
patent. The complainants responded in opposition to the motion. The ALJ 
denied the motion for failure to comply with Commission rules. Order 
No. 8 at 2 & n.1 (Feb. 20, 2018). On February 21, 2018, the respondents 
filed a renewed motion to terminate, which corrected the omission in 
their previous motion. The complainants renewed their opposition to the 
motion. OUII supported the motion.
    On February 27, 2018, the ALJ granted the motion as an ID, finding 
that good cause exists for terminating the investigation. The ID finds 
that given ``the structure of section 337 investigations'' there was 
insufficient time for the Commission to ``reach a final determination 
or issue any relief before the March 5, 2018 expiration date'' of the 
'340 patent. Order No. 10 at 6.
    On March 5, 2018, the '340 patent expired. That same day, the 
complainants filed a ``Motion for Rehearing and Reinstating the 
Investigation'' (``Compl'ts Submission''). The Commission determined to 
treat that submission as a petition for Commission review of the ID 
under 19 CFR 210.43. The petition seeks an advisory ruling on certain 
issues. Compl'ts Submission 6.
    On March 12, 2018, the respondents and OUII filed responses in 
opposition to the complainants' submission. The responses explain, 
inter alia, that the complainants' submission does not provide an 
adequate basis for Commission review under Commission Rule 
210.43(b)(1), 19 CFR 210.43(b)(1). Resp'ts Resp. 3; OUII Resp. 1, 3.
    Having considered the record of the investigation, including the 
parties' submissions to the Commission, the Commission decides as 
follows. The Commission ``can issue only an exclusion order barring 
future importation or a cease and desist order barring future 
conduct,'' neither of which can issue as to an expired patent. Texas 
Instruments Inc. v. U.S. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 851 F.2d 342, 344 (Fed. 
Cir. 1988). Because the'340 patent has now actually expired, the ID's 
good cause (the imminent expiration of the patent) is now moot. 
Accordingly, the Commission has determined to review the ID, and, on 
review, to affirm the termination based upon the actual expiration of 
the '340 patent. The Commission declines the complainants' invitation 
to issue advisory rulings, and terminates the investigation.
    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in 
section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and 
in part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 
part 210).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 23, 2018.
Katherine M. Hiner,
Supervisory Attorney.
[FR Doc. 2018-06220 Filed 3-27-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7020-02-P