US Legal Announcements – Morrison & Foerster Achieves ITC Win in Patent Infringement Suit – In the latest success story for our Intellectual Property Group and its leading ITC practice, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a final determination in favor of client Funai on April 10. The victory for Japan-based Funai Electric and its affiliate, U.S.-based Funai Corporation, Inc. (collectively “Funai”), comes against 14 respondents including Vizio, TPV, Amtran, Proview, and Syntax-Brillian. The ITC order blocks the infringing companies from importing high-definition televisions into the U.S.

The positive outcome for Funai capped an investigation that began in November 2007, after Funai filed a formal complaint alleging violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. In November 2008, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) of the ITC issued an initial determination concluding that the accused digital televisions of the respondents infringe asserted claims of Funai Electric’s U.S. Patent No. 6,115,074. The full commission agreed with the ALJ’s initial determination on April 10, 2009.

“We are gratified,” said Karl Kramer, the Palo Alto-based Morrison & Foerster partner who was the lead lawyer for the Funai team. “The exclusion order is a big hammer.” Vizio and the other defendants have 60 days to stop importing the televisions, during which time President Obama is allowed to review the decision.

“We are very pleased that the ITC has vindicated Funai’s efforts to legitimately enforce its U.S. digital television patent against infringing companies like Vizio,” Funai Electric Co. President and CEO Tomonori Hayashi said. “Funai remains committed to respecting the intellectual property rights of others and will continue vigorously protecting its own intellectual property rights against infringers.”

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