March 20, 2007
News Release 07-030
Inv. No. 337-TA-598
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, PRODUCTS USED WITH SUCH SYSTEMS, AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain unified communications systems, products used with such systems, and components thereof. The systems and products at issue in this investigation integrate the features of data networks and traditional telephone networks, allowing the user to configure communications options in multiple ways from a single interface, such as a computer display.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, WA, on February 16, 2007. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain unified communications systems, products used with such systems, and components thereof that infringe patents owned by Microsoft. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified Alcatel-Lucent of Paris, France, as the respondent in this investigation.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-598), 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 U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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