The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain wireless audio systems and components thereof. The products at issue in the investigation include speakers, soundbars, receivers, amplifiers, adapters, and audio systems that are typically used to wirelessly stream music or other audio from a device such as a smartphone or laptop to one or more speakers, soundbars, receivers, etc.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Broadcom Limited of San Jose, CA, and Avago Technologies General IP (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. of Singapore on August 10, 2017. An amended complaint was filed on August 16, 2017, and supplements to the amended complaint were filed on August 30, 2017. The complaint, as amended and supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wireless audio systems and components thereof that infringe claim 20 of U.S. Patent No. 6,684,060. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
DTS, Inc., of Calabasas, CA;
Phorus, Inc., of Calabasas, CA;
MartinLogan, Ltd,. of Lawrence, KS;
Paradigm Electronics Inc. of Ontario, Canada;
Anthem Electronics, Inc., of Ontario Canada;
Wren Sound Systems, LLC, of Phoenixville, PA;
McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., of Binghamton, NY;
Definitive Technology of Owing Mills, MD; and
Polk Audio Inc. of Vista, CA.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1071), 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.