Irvine, CA — Vizio revealed today that an Administrative Law Judge in the International Trade Commission issued an Initial Determination on Monday, November 17, 2008, with respect to the patent infringement suit it is defending against Funai Electric Co. Funai’s complaint had accused multiple HDTV manufacturers including Vizio of infringing 27 claims in two United States Patents (Nos. 5,329,369 and No. 6,115,074). Of the 27 claims, Funai Electronic Co. has, since filing, voluntarily withdrawn 19 of the claims.
In the Initial Determination, and consistent with Vizio’s position, the Administrative Law Judge found all 5 asserted claims of the ‘369 patent to be invalid. “We are pleased that the Administrative Law Judge found the asserted claims of the ‘369 patent to be invalid” stated Robert J. Ranucci, Vizio’s VP General Counsel.
With respect to the ‘074 patent, 3 of the asserted claims of the ‘074 patent were found to be infringed and not invalid. However, in a related matter, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a preliminary “Office Action” that found all of the claims in the ‘074 patent to be invalid. “Based in part on the recent Office Action from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we plan to petition the Commission to review the initial decision on the ‘074 patent, and we are considering taking other appropriate measures. The Initial Determination by the Administrative Law Judge is preliminary, it is not final, and we believe that upon review, the Commission should find the ‘074 patent to be invalid and should find that the Vizio models at issue in this investigation do not infringe the asserted claims of the ‘074 patent,” added Robert J. Ranucci, Vizio’s VP General Counsel.
The Initial Determination will not result in monetary damages against Vizio, since monetary damages are not available in an ITC investigation.
“We are pleased that the majority of the claims have been either withdrawn or deemed invalid. It is Vizio’s policy to respect the rights of intellectual property, thoroughly investigate all claims, and vigorously defend our legal rights when we feel a claim is invalid or not infringed. Unfortunately, we are not immune to lawsuits and we will defend as appropriate at all times,” stated Laynie Newsome, Vizio co-founder, VP sales and marketing communications.