Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Third Ericsson ITC complaint against Apple discovered -- a potentially unprecedented number of simultaneous filings with the U.S. trade agency

I hadn't seen three simultaneous ITC complaints (requests for U.S. import ban) by one party against another in more than ten years of watching smartphone patent disputes. Then I looked up the electronic docket of the United States International Trade Commission, a trade agency with quasi-judicial powers, and just found Ericsson's third complaint against Apple (this post continues below the document). So there are two non-SEP complaints and one SEP complaint.

The number of the most recently-discovered complaint is 337-TA-3597 and the title is In the Matter of Certain Mobile Phones and Table Computers, All With Switchable Connectivity, and Products Containing Same.

Earlier today I noted that three patents were asserted in the 22-cv-61 case in the Western District of Texas but not in the 337-TA-3596 ITC complaint. Those three non-standard-essential patents, which have not previously been asserted against any party, are now at the heart of Ericsson's third ITC complaint against Apple.

In light of this newly discovered document, I have to update my hierarchical directory of the seven Ericsson-Apple cases pending in the United States:

Here's the third complaint:

22-01-18 Ericsson v. Apple ... by Florian Mueller

These are the patents-in-suit:

  1. U.S. Patent No. 8,792,454 on "secure and seamless WAN-LAN [wide area network, local area network] roaming"

  2. U.S. Patent No. 10,880,794 on "inter-band handover of the same physical frequency"

  3. U.S. Patent No. 8,472,999 on a "method and system for enabling dual standby state in a wireless communication system"

At first sight, "switchable connectivity" (a term in the title of the complaint) is the common denominator of those three patents, and sets them apart from the patents asserted in the 337-TA-3596 complaint.

I venture to guess that Apple will propose to address at least the two non-SEP complaints in a single consolidated investigation.

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