By John Presper
On May 31, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Barcode Scanners, Scan Engines, Mobile Computers with Barcode Scanning Functionalities, Products Containing the Same, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1317).
By way of background, this investigation is based on a May 2, 2022 complaint filed by Honeywell International Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina and Hand Held Products, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina (collectively, “Complainants”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents Zebra Technologies Corporation of Lincolnshire, Illinois and Symbol Technologies, Inc. of Holtsville, New York (collectively, “Respondents”) in the unlawful importation/sale of certain barcode scanners, scan engines, mobile computers with barcode scanning functionalities, products containing the same, and components thereof by reason of the infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,465,970 (“the ’970 Patent”); U.S. Patent No. 10,956,695 (“the ’695 Patent”); and U.S. Patent No. 11,238,252 (“the ’252 Patent”).
According to the complaint, the ’970 patent is directed to an apparatus using a CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensor in a global-shutter mode to decode a bar code; the ’695 patent is directed to an indicia reader with a decoding module and an audio indicatory system supported in a housing; and the ’252 patent is directed to an apparatus “capable of picture taking functionality and excellent bar code decoding functionality.” The accused products are barcode scan engines and barcode scanners (such as stationary scanners, handheld scanners, companion scanners, cabled scanners, wireless scanners, and mobile scanning devices), mobile computers with barcode scanning functionalities (such as hand-held, tablet, and wearable computers) and components thereof (such as undecoded scan engines, decoder boards, and imaging modules). Complainants are requesting that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and cease-and-desist order against Respondents. According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation. Lastly, Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued a notice indicating that ALJ Monica Bhattacharyya will preside in the investigation.