On January 27, 2021, the ITC issued a press release announcing their vote to institute an investigation in Certain Active Matrix OLED Display Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1243). This investigation is based on a December 28, 2020 complaint filed by Solas OLED Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland ("Solas"). According to the Notice of Investigation, the Commission identified BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. of Beijing, China; Beijing BOE Display Technology Co., Ltd. of Beijing, China; BOE Technology America Inc. of Santa Clara, California (collectively, "BOE"); Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; and Samsung Display Co., Ltd. of Gyeonggi-Di, South Korea (collectively, "Samsung") as Respondents in this matter. Notably, proposed respondents LG Electronics Inc., LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Display America Inc., and LG Display Co. Ltd. are not identified by the Commission as Respondents despite being named by Solas in the complaint. The Notice of Investigation does not indicate that the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will participate as a party in the investigation. Lastly, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice indicating that ALJ Cameron R. Elliot will preside in this investigation.

The complaint alleges that Respondents unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain active matrix OLED display devices and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,139,007 ("the '007 patent"), 7,573,068 ("the '068 patent"), and 7,868,880 ("the '880 patent") (collectively, "the Asserted Patents").

According to the complaint, the Asserted Patents generally relate to active matrix OLED devices that are used in high-tech products like televisions, monitors, smart watches, mobile phones, laptop computers, and other consumer-electronics products. In particular, the '007 patent relates to improved driving of a light-emitting device. The '068 patent concerns improved designs for transistor array substrates, containing an array of driving transistors and associated lines and interconnections necessary to their operation. The '880 patent relates to improved driving of a light-emitting device.

Solas asserts that the Respondents import and sell products that infringe the Asserted Patents, including mobile phones and tablets produced by BOE; mobile phones and tablets produced by Samsung, and televisions and monitors produced by Sony.

Regarding domestic industry, Solas alleges that a domestic industry exists in the United States under Section 337(a)(2) and 337(a)(3). In particular, Solas alleges that domestic industry exists as a result of eMagin's (a Solas licensee) significant investment in plant and equipment and significant employment of labor and capital with respect to eMagin products that practice the Asserted Patents. With respect to the technical prong of the domestic industry inquiry, Solas' complaint alleges that eMagin makes significant and substantial investments in plant and equipment, labor and capital, and engineering and research and development with respect to products that practice one or more claims of the Asserted Patents, including the eMagin BlazeTorch, 2k Display, DSVGA, SXGA120, VGA, as well as the exemplary eMagin domestic industry product, eMagin SXGA-096. With respect to the economic prong, Solas focuses on eMagin's investments in the United States in the millions of dollars per year in labor and capital, plant and equipment, and research and development relating to eMagin's products practicing the Asserted Patents. Solas also focuses on eMagin's manufacturing and research and development facilities located in Hopewell Junction, New York and Santa Clara, California.

As to related litigation, Solas states that it concurrently filed complaints in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against the proposed respondents alleging infringement of one or more claims of the Asserted Patents. Solas also notes that the '068 patent is currently involved in litigation in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against LG, Sony, and HP. Finally, Solas notes that the '068 patent is also involved in an inter partes review filed by LG.

With respect to the potential remedy, Solas requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order, a cease-and-desist order, and impose a bond on importation and sales of infringing products during the 60-day Presidential review period directed at the Respondents.

Originally Published by Oblon, February 2021

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