23 December 2013

23 December 2013

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Mobile Giants Hit With ITC Complaint Over GPS Tracking
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Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Nokia Corp. and other mobile carriers were sued Wednesday at the U.S. International Trade Commission by licensing company Pragmatus Mobile LLC claiming the wireless giants have infringed a pair of patents on mobile devices that can be tracked by GPS signals.
The complaint, which also names Sony Corp. and ZTE Corp. as respondents, alleges that the companies have violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing smartphones and tablet computers that illegally copy the tracking system covered by the Pragmatus patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,149,124 and 8,466,795.

"The unfair acts of the respondents involve the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and/or the sale within the United States after importation of certain wireless devices, including mobile phones and tablets," Pragmatus said in its complaint.

Pragmatus asked the ITC to immediately launch a probe into its allegations and issue exclusion orders and cease-and-desist orders blocking the importation of the infringing items.

The company also said in its complaint that the remedial orders it was seeking were unlikely to impact consumers because it has licensed the patents to large companies that make competing products that "could easily fill any void in the market" left by the exclusion of the allegedly infringing devices.

Among the licensees for the disputed Pragmatus patents are HTC Corp., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc., according to the complaint.

"If the commission grants the requested remedial orders, the public interest will be served," Pragmatus said. "The accused devices are not necessary to any health or welfare need, and an adequate supply of substitute devices will be available through at least Pragmatus' current licensees."

This is the second time in six months that Alexandria, Va.,-based Pragmatus has asserted the '124 and '795 patents in a 337 complaint at the ITC. The company filed a similar complaint against South Korea's Pantech Co. Ltd. in June, which was formally accepted the ITC a month later, prompting the launch of a full probe.

A spokesman for Nokia told Law360 that the company still was in the process of examining the complaint and weighing its options for a response.

"Nokia is aware of the complaint, we will study the claims made and take whatever steps are necessary to defend ourselves," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Representatives for Pragmatus, Samsung, Sony and ZTE did not immediately respond Thursday to requests for comment.

The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 8,149,124 and 8,466,795.

Pragmatus is represented by Anthony Grillo of Marino and Grillo LLC.

Counsel information for the respondents was not available Thursday.

The complaint is In the Matter of Certain Wireless Devices, Including Mobile Phones and Tablets II, docket number 2992, before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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