United States: ITC Institutes (337-TA-1285) investigation of certain barcode scanners
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On October 29, 2021, the ITC issued a Notice of Inquiry in Certain barcode scanners, laptop computers with barcode scanning capabilities, scanning engines and their components (Inv. no. 337-TA-1285).
For your information, this investigation is based on a complaint filed on September 29, 2021 by Honeywell International Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina; Hand Held Products, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Metrologic Instruments, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) alleging violation of Section 337 by Defendants Zebra Technologies Corporation of Lincolnshire, Illinois and Symbol Technologies, Inc. of Holtsville, New York ( collectively, the “Defendants”) in the unlawful importation and/or sale in the United States of certain bar code scanners, laptop computers with bar code scanning capabilities, scanning engines and components thereof for infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,568,628 (“the ‘628 Patent”); 7,770,799 (“the ‘799 patent”); 8,794,520 (“the ‘520 patent”); 9,576,169 (“the ‘169 patent”); and 10,721,429 (“the ‘429 patent”).
According to the complaint, the ‘628 patent generally relates to an image reader based on a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), for example, a bar code reading device, for collecting image data using global shutter technology, and processing the image data to decode bar code symbols in the data picture ; the ‘799 patent relates generally to a bar code reading and processing device for bar code symbols (for example, bar code reading devices) which include in a portable housing a color image sensor which can be used to obtain color images such as photographs, and a monochrome image sensor which can be used to obtain monochrome images of decodable symbols such as barcodes that can be decoded by the device; the ‘520 patent is generally concerned with determining the location of a decodable clue in an image and selectively using information from that location to adjust imaging parameters for subsequent images; the ‘169 patent generally relates to an image reader with an image sensor that operates in global shutter mode to capture and use image data to decode indicia, such as bar codes, and to identify textures in image data, such as handwriting or print characters, which can be extracted; and the ‘429 patent generally relates to an image reader based on a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), for example, a bar code reading device, for collecting image data using global shutter technology, and for identifying and decoding bar code symbols in the image data. The impugned products are defendants’ bar code scanning engines and scanners (such as handheld and stationary scanners), portable computers with bar code scanning capabilities (such as laptops, tablets and laptops) and their components (such as circuit boards with barcode reading capabilities). The Complainants ask the Commission to issue limited exclusion orders and permanent cease and desist orders against the Respondents. According to the Notice of Investigation, the Bureau of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation. Finally, ALJ Chief Charles E. Bullock issued a note indicating that ALJ Monica Bhattacharyya will chair the inquiry.
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