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Universal Electronics Files Itc Complaint Against Roku And Its Partners, TCL, Hisense And Funai; Asks ITCTo Issue An Exclusion Order To Bar Importation Of Infringing Parties' Products

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI), (NASDAQ:UEIC), the worldwide leader in universal control and sensing solutions for the smart home, announced that on May 18, 2020, the International

Benzinga · 05/19/2020 11:14

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI), (NASDAQ:UEIC), the worldwide leader in universal control and sensing solutions for the smart home, announced that on May 18, 2020, the International Trade Commission has instituted an investigation into the importation of certain streaming players, remote controls, televisions, set top boxes, and components (collectively, the “Infringing Parties’ Products”) by Roku Inc. (“Roku”) and its partners TTE Technology Inc. d/b/a/ TCL USA and TCL North America (and certain affiliated TCL companies) (the “TCL Companies”), Hisense Co. Ltd. (and certain affiliated Hisense companies) (the “Hisense Companies”), and Funai Electric Co., Ltd. (and certain affiliated Funai companies) (the “Funai Companies”) (collectively, Roku, the TCL Companies, the Hisense Companies, and the Funai Companies are referred to as the “Infringing Parties”). This investigation is in response to UEI’s complaint filed with the ITC on April 16, 2020 alleging that the Infringing Parties have engaged in unfair trade practices by the importation, sale for importation, and/or sale after importation into the United States of the Infringing Parties’ Products that infringe one or more claims of UEI’s U.S. Patent Nos. 9,911,325 (the “’325 Patent”), 7,589,642 (the “’642 Patent”), 7,969,514 (the “’514 Patent”), 10,600,317 (the “’317 Patent”), 10,593,196 (the “’196 Patent”), and 9,716,853 (the “’853 Patent”) (collectively, the “UEI Patents”).

“For over 30 years, UEI has invested in innovation to invent unique technology for our customers, including our Emmy® award-winning Advanced Voice Control for Smart Entertainment and IoT,” said Paul Arling, UEI’s chairman and CEO. “To protect our assets, we have amassed over 500 patents that we use in our solutions and license to software and technology manufacturers. When other companies use our technology without permission, we first endeavor to form mutually beneficial business arrangements and it is only when such arrangements cannot be achieved that we take action to vigorously protect our valuable IP.” Mr. Arling added, “We believe that the ITC plays a valuable role in protecting U.S. industries like UEI’s and in preventing unfair trade practices. We look forward to the ITC protecting our substantial and significant efforts to innovate.”

By this request, UEI asks the ITC to issue an Exclusion Order to bar importation of those Infringing Parties’ Products and a Cease and Desist Order to bar further sales and other domestic commercial activities of Infringing Parties’ Products that have already been imported. UEI expects that the ITC investigation to continue through 2020 and that the case will be tried in the first quarter of 2021.

UEI has also filed concurrent suits in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against these same Infringing Parties. Those complaints include allegations of patent infringement regarding the UEI Patents and UEI seeks both damages and injunctive relief.

Certain of the UEI Patents have been successfully litigated in prior UEI legal actions. All of the UEI Patents are part of a portfolio of technology that is broadly licensed to OEMs, software development companies, private label customers, and subscription broadcast providers in the consumer electronics, subscription broadcast, home entertainment, automation, security, hospitality and climate control markets. Licensees of QuickSet include service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Dish Network Corporation; smart TV manufacturers such as Sony Corporation and Samsung; and leading game console manufacturers such as Microsoft Corporation on its Xbox One game system.