• Immersion Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Mobile Electronic Devices Incorporating Haptics
  • February 10, 2012 | Authors: Alexander B. Englehart; Eric W. Schweibenz
  • Law Firm: Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. - Alexandria Office
  • On February 7, 2012, Immersion Corporation of San Jose, California (“Immersion”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

    The complaint alleges that Motorola Mobility, Inc. and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (collectively, “Motorola”)—both of Libertyville, Illinois—unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain mobile electronic devices incorporating haptic feedback technology (“haptics”), including cellular phones and smartphones that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,429,846 (the ‘846 patent), 7,592,999 (the ‘999 patent), 7,969,288 (the ‘288 patent), 7,982,720 (the ‘720 patent), 8,031,181 (the ‘181 patent), and 8,059,105 (the ‘105 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

    According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to haptics technology.  The complaint states that, broadly speaking, haptics provides touch or tactile sensations to users of electronic devices.  In particular, the ‘846 patent relates to outputting a haptic feedback effect to a user contacting a touch input device, which includes a touchscreen, based on the position of the user’s contact.  The ‘999 patent relates to outputting a haptic feedback effect to a user when the user selects or touches one of the menu items from a menu displayed on a touchscreen.  The ‘288 patent relates to systems and methods for enabling haptics on electronic devices with a multi-tasking environment, where multiple application programs can simultaneously run.  The ‘720 patent relates to, among other things, producing haptic effects associated with graphical items in an active state and an inactive state.  The ‘181 patent relates to a haptic feedback device comprising a touchscreen with at least two regions:  a first region associated with cursor positioning and a second region associated with control functionality different from cursor positioning.  The ‘105 patent relates to haptic feedback in response to both user input (e.g., pressing a key) and user-independent events (e.g., receipt of a phone call).

    In the complaint, Immersion states that Motorola imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the Motorola Droid Razr, Droid 3, Droid Bionic, Photon, Droid X2, Atrix, Atrix 2, Admiral, Xprt, and other Motorola mobile electronic devices incorporating haptics as infringing products.

    Regarding domestic industry, the complaint states that Immersion has invested substantial resources to research, develop, design, engineer, test, and commercialize advanced software products that practice the asserted patents when run on a mobile electronic device.  Further, the complaint states that Immersion offers customers several services and other products designed to help manufacturers integrate haptics into electronic devices with touchscreen interfaces.  Immersion specifically refers to its 32,881 square-foot facility in San Jose, California, where it employs many engineers who work on the technologies disclosed in the asserted patents.  Immersion states that its TouchSense software products are designed to implement haptics in electronic devices using the patented inventions.  According to the complaint, Immersion has licensed its TouchSense software products to several cellular phone, smartphone, and handheld computer manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”).  By way of example, the complaint states that Samsung’s Galaxy S II incorporates Immersion’s TouchSense 3000 software and practices the inventions claimed in the asserted patents.

    With respect to potential remedy, Immersion requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Motorola.