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IPR Enforcement Actions on ATMs, Surgical Staplers, Bras, Test Strips

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

ATMs and ATM Modules. The International Trade Commission received Feb. 9 on behalf of Nautilus Hyosung Inc. and Nautilus Hyosung America Inc. a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding automated teller machines, ATM modules, components thereof and products containing the same. The proposed respondents are located in the U.S.

Section 337 investigations primarily involve claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including the infringement of patents, trademarks and copyrights. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress and false advertising, may also be asserted. The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S. In addition, the ITC may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory.

Surgical Stapler Devices. The ITC has instituted investigation 337-TA-985 to determine whether imports of surgical stapler devices and components thereof are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue are used in abdominal, gynecologic, pediatric and thoracic surgeries.

Complainant Covidien LP requests that after this investigation the ITC issue a limited exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of infringing products into the U.S., and a cease and desist order, which would require the named respondent to cease actions that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. The respondent in this investigation is located in China.

Pumping Bras. The ITC is requesting comments no later than Feb. 19 on any public interest issues raised by a complaint filed on behalf of Simple Wishes LLC alleging that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of pumping bras are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act. Comments should address whether the issuance of the exclusion orders and cease and desist orders requested by the complainant would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers.

Blood Cholesterol Test Strips. The ITC has terminated patent infringement investigation 337-TA-969 of blood cholesterol test strips and associated systems containing the same without the imposition of import restrictions based on a settlement agreement between complainant Polymer Technology Systems Inc. and the respondents, which are located in Korea and the U.S.

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