USITC to investigate STBs after Sony patent claim

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017
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USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Digital Cable and Satellite Products, Set-Top Boxes, Gateways, and Components Thereof

  • Inv. No. 337-TA-1049 – Contact: Peg O’Laughlin, 202-205-1819

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain digital cable and satellite products, set-top boxes, gateways, and components thereof. The products at issue in the investigation include set-top boxes supplied to Comcast for its Xfinity brand, set-top boxes supplied to DIRECTV for its Genie brand, and media or telephone gateway products.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Sony Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, and Sony Electronics Inc. of San Diego, CA, on March 10, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain digital cable and satellite products, set-top boxes, gateways, and components thereof, described above, that allegedly infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

ARRIS International plc of Suwanee, GA;
ARRIS Group, Inc., of Suwanee, GA;
ARRIS Technology, Inc., of Horsham, PA;
ARRIS Enterprises LLC of Suwanee, GA;
ARRIS Solutions, Inc., of Suwanee, GA;
ARRIS Global Ltd. (formerly Pace Ltd.) of Saltaire, West Yorkshire, England;
Pace Americas, LLC, of Boca Raton, FL;
Pace Americas Holdings, Inc., of Boca Raton, FL;
Pace USA LLC of Boca Raton, FL; and
Pace Americas Investments, LLC, of Boca Raton, FL.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1049), 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.