ITC Institutes Investigation (337-TA-1321) in certain barcode readers

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On June 22, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Inquiry in Certain barcode scanners, scanning engines, portable computers with barcode scanning capabilities, products containing them and their components II (Inv. no. 337-TA-1321).

For background, this survey is based on a survey dated May 20, 2022 complaint filed by Honeywell International Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina and Hand Held Products, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) alleging violations of Section 337 by Defendants Zebra Technologies Corporation of Lincolnshire, Illinois and Symbol Technologies, Inc. of Holtsville, New York (collectively, the “Respondents”) in the illegal importation/sale of certain barcode scanners, scanning engines, laptop computers with barcode scanning capabilities , products containing them and components thereof by infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 11,323,649 (“the ‘649 patent”), U.S. Patent No. 11,323,650 (“the ‘650 patent”). U.S. Patent No. 7,852,519 (“the ‘519 Patent”), U.S. Patent No. 9,258,188 (“the ‘188”) and U.S. Patent No. 8,635,309 (“the ‘309 Patent”) .

According to the complaint, the claimed patents generally relate to bar code scanning products. Specifically, the ‘649 and ‘650 patents relate to an apparatus using a CMOS image sensor in a global shutter mode to decode a bar code; the ‘519 patent relates to a bar code reading device which uses a first image processing procedure which processes one or more images in a first period of time, and a second image processing procedure which processes one or more images in a second time period, where the first time period is constrained to be less than or equal to the second time period; the ‘188 patent relates to an interface node that facilitates the management of a fleet of portable coded information reader (EIR) terminals by directing the execution of software upgrades and/or update actions configuration by one or more members of the EIR terminal fleet; and the ‘309 patent relates to methods and apparatus for secure aftermarket enabling, modifying and disabling of features of data collection devices. The offending products are Zebra barcode scanning engines and barcode scanners (such as stationary scanners, handheld scanners, companion scanners, corded scanners, cordless scanners, and mobile scanners) , portable computers with barcode reading capabilities (such as portable scanners, tablets, and laptops) and their components (such as non-decoded scanners, decoder boards, and imaging modules ). Plaintiffs ask the Commission to issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order against defendants. According to the Notice of Investigation, the Bureau of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation. Finally, Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney released a to remark indicating that ALJ Bhattacharyya will chair the inquiry.

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