A US judge has ruled that the digital television products of 14 companies, including Vizio, infringe patents held by Funai.

The Japanese company is seeking a limited exclusion order barring importation of the infringing products into the US as well as a cease and desist order to prevent sale or distribution of infringing products there.

Included are certain models of the brand names of Vizio, Ölevia, Proview, AOC and Envision, among others.

Funai, which produces Philips-branded LCD TVs, saw its operating income increase by 108.8 per cent in the last quarter, largely off the back of sales of Blu-ray players and DTV converters.

Last October, Funai filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against 14 respondents claiming infringement of Funai’s digital television patents.

Three respondents settled and entered licenses with Funai during the course of the proceedings, and the ITC case continued as to the other 11 respondents.

Two of the respondents defaulted during the course of the ITC case.

Upon completion of the ITC proceeding, Funai expects to resume its suits that are pending in the US District Court against the same parties, seeking damages resulting from infringement of Funai’s digital television patents.

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the ITC has now issued an Initial Determination (ID) as to Funai’s claims that Vizio, TPV, Amtran, Proview, Syntax-Brillian and other respondents violate Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

The ALJ has determined that the respondents’ digital television products infringe asserted claims of Funai Electric’s US Patent No. 6,115,074. Based on such determination, the ALJ will issue a Recommended Determination on Remedy by December 1, 2008.

The ALJ’s ID is subject to review by the full Commission and, if reviewed by the Commission, a final determination is expected by the end of March 2009.

The following is a list of the current respondents:

Vizio, Inc., formerly known as V. Inc. (US)
Amtran Technology Co., Ltd (Taiwan)
Proview International Holdings, Ltd. (Hong Kong)
Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (China)
Proview Technology, Inc. (US)
TPV Technology, Ltd. (Hong Kong)
TPV International (USA), Inc. (US)
Top Victory Electronics (Taiwan) Co., Ltd (Taiwan)
Envision Peripherals, Inc.(US)
Syntax-Brillian Corporation (US)
Taiwan Kolin Co., Ltd (Taiwan)

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