The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) last week decided
to investigate certain products that contain short-wavelength light
emitting diodes and laser diodes. Such may include hand-held mobile devices,
instrument panels, billboards, traffic lights, high-definition optical players
and data storage devices.
Of note, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players, which use
blue-violet laser technology, are subjected to this investigation. Companies
named in the investigation include Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Lite-On, Matsushita
(Panasonic) and LG.
Mobile phone manufacturers Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola
were also identified as one of the respondents in the investigation.
According to the filing, the investigation is based on a
complaint filed in February by Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, alleging that the
importation into the U.S. of certain products infringe a patent owned by
Gertrude Neumark Rothschild is a Professor Emerita and Special
Research Scientist at Columbia University, from where she also received her
Ph.D in chemistry in 1949. Rothschild is no stranger to the patent courts, as
in 2006 she reached a
settlement with Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. for infringement upon her LED
Rothschild requests that the ITC issue exclusion orders and
cease and desist orders. The case will be referred to ITC administrative law
judge Paul J. Luckern, who will make an initial determination as to whether
there is a violation of patent.
quote: coming up with the idea independently is not a defense to patent infringement.
quote: I understand that a patent is put in to protect products so that people don't steal ideas, but there should really be a limit.